"But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." 2 Peter 3:8-9 ESV
What a fascinating set of verses. They say so much about God and who he is. A thousand years is far beyond any one man's or woman's lifetime. More happens in a thousand years time then any person could hope to really know. It displays the grandness of God's scope of perception.
At the same time it shows God's ability to 'stretch out' time or 'compress it' it is linked to His priority system because the next verse explains God's heart of redemption. A day is a long time because God wants to save and a thousand years is a short time because God wants to save.
People have used verse eight to try and rewrite the creation account in Genesis and stretch it out. That never sat well with me. The Bible is a literal book unless it is clearly figurative. If you compare line upon line that becomes abundantly clear.
I think a verse like this speaks directly to our lives in a different way. We have all had to wait or endure a season of some kind. We have all had days that seemed to stretch on forever and seasons that seemed to pass in a blink of an eye.
Memory, endurance, patience and desire are all connected.
"Jacob loved Rachel. And he said, 'I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.'... So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her." Genesis 29:18, 20 ESV
Lust can't wait but love can. Jacob loved Rachael and served the years he needed to and then doubled that time again to be with the one he loved. His love gave him elasticity in perception. That is what love does.
"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained." Philippians 3:14-16 ESV
If we set our eyes on redemption... our personal need for it and attainment of it in Christ... today we can see the redemption that has happened in eternity past and on a cross two thousand years ago personally... we are dead and done and yet saved and safe because of Christ... and then set our eyes on what is outside of us and see events through redemption's eyes. If we do that time is no rigid thing. It does not tick by in an endless march. Eternity comes into time and gives us a new way to see things. Time stretches and compresses.
How long is the wait to see a loved one that has gone before us? It is like a thousand years and it is also like a day. How long can we wait for the person who has a hardened heart to come around? A steady dripping of Gospel soaked love will erode even the hardest stone if given time. Love has that time.
It may take a decade to build a church in a city. What is decade to love? It is a happy moment.
Then we have today. Is it important? The little decisions we make... do they have weight? To God today is a historical era of great complexity and length. Redemptive perception can buy back this day. What we could not earn in a thousand years God wants to give us in just one day of believing. Gold. silver and precious stones are riding on our disposition today.
I am going to set my face on Christ today. I'll let the Spirit stretch my perception of space and put me right there at His throne beholding Him with the eye of my imagination.
"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith" Hebrews 12:2a KJV
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2 ESV
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 ESV
Gazing into the face of freedom we are made free.