Read: Ephesians 1:3–14

With all wisdom and insight He has made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in Him, things in heaven and on earth. Ephesians 1:8d–10

“Why is it taking so long?” That is a fair question. The Bible claims that God’s intent is to bring order and harmony and righteousness to the world . . . but there seems to be scant evidence of that plan gaining much ground in our age. What is the holdup? Why can’t Jesus return in an instant and make all wrongs right once and for all?

According to this passage of scripture, God does not want to lose anyone or anything as the plan for the salvation of the world unfolds. Salvation—the union between God and all that God has made—is not for a select subgroup of religious people, it is for everyone. Jesus will not return, and God will not draw this age to a close, until “all things” are gathered up in God’s will, reflecting God’s way. This is a colossal task. It will take something Paul refers to as the “fullness of time.” If God is eternal and everlasting, then the wait for all creation to conform to God’s desires might take a very, very long time. The plan is in motion, but the timer is in God’s hands.

Do you get impatient with God?

Lord, I sometimes wonder—perhaps oftentimes wonder—why the promises of unity and peace and love in the Bible do not seem to be taking root in the world on the scale the Bible suggests they will. Why is Your grand design taking so long to unfold? Is my impatience with the “fullness of time” a result of being a finite being with limited time to understand and participate in Your expansive work? I just dont know. Help me to be at peace with my ignorance of Your plans, and encourage me to do my part, trusting that the final result is in Your hands. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.