8 “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. 9 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)
It is easy to overlook the obvious. I came across this observation from a college professor. Perhaps, you can relate to her observation as I can.
“A few months ago, I was rushing across campus worried that I would be late for teaching a class. I wanted to check the time, but my phone was buried in my backpack, and I was carrying too many books to get my arm in a position to see my watch. Just then, the bells in the campus’ bell tower chimed, and I relaxed. It was 15 minutes before the hour. As a gesture of appreciation, I looked up at the bell tower and saw its clock face. There was the time staring right back at me. I’d been teaching at the college for 21 years, yet this was the first time I realized that I could tell the time on campus simply by looking up.”
“Was I uncommonly unobservant? Curious, I asked my colleagues and students if they knew of a way to tell the time while outside on campus without checking their phone or watch. Few mentioned the bell tower’s clock, and many laughed with surprise when I pointed it out. Our bell tower was built in 1897 and is located right in the center of the campus. I bet most students consulted its clock 100 years ago. Have we become so wed to our personal devices that we’ve forgotten how to look around and use external cues? Technology provides us with great information but so do our own eyes and brain.”
We often tend to overlook, or fail to observe, that which is right before us. It may be a friendship, a gentle touch given by, or to, a loved one, a task needing to be done, or a word of encouragement needing to be given. We overlook what we could and should do and proceed on our life’s path until later when we realize what we could, and should, have done.
Peter was all too aware of this tendency of humans: saints and sinners. In fact, with respect to the soon return of the Lord Jesus Christ, the apostle stated, ““But do not overlook this one fact.” The word “overlook (λανθάνω; lanthaneto) means to not remember, to forget or to escape notice. What fact, of truth, are believers never to overlook?
Peter answered by saying, “…that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” Peter wanted believers to not overlook the truth that while Jesus’ return to earth in power, might and glory from a human perspective seems long overdue, in His perspective it has only been a couple of days since His ascension (Acts 1:1-11).
We should never forget what the angels promised the disciples. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
Believers may rest assured, and unbelievers would be well to take heed, that Jesus Christ will one day return in the same way as He departed: visibly, gradually, in the air and with the clouds (Acts 1:9-10; Daniel 7:13; Zechariah 14:1-4; Matthew 24:30; 26:64; Revelation 1:7; 14:14; 19:11-21).
As the Apostle John stated in Revelation 22:20, “He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!”
Let us live for the Lord today in obvious recognition of His soon return.
Soli deo Gloria!