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Never Late!
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

2 Peter 3:8-9

"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."

It was the first Sunday on my new duty assignment at the 921st AC&W located at the northern tip of Newfoundland. On the way to the radar site where I would spend the next year, I noticed an attractive white church. With determination I walked the two miles to the church expecting to be there early for the service. There was just one problem---no people!

There was a house behind the church and I thought it may be the parsonage. I knocked on the door and was met by Carol Bailey, the pastor’s wife. She informed me that there would be no services that day, but if I hurried to the dock I could find her husband, Ross, who was going by boat to a small fishing village to hold services.

That day turned into a lifelong friendship with the Bailey’s and ignited my love for the Newfoundlanders. After the service that day we heard wonderful stories some of the fisherman had encountered at sea.

Following that assignment, I was stationed near Kansas City, Missouri. On the Christian radio station we had heard about Blue Ridge Bible Church. One Sunday we were able to attend the church. We arrived early for the Sunday evening service, only to find a crowd of people waiting for the doors to open.

Eagerly our family rushed to find seats—wondering what special event we had stumbled upon. I asked a college age person next to me if there was a special speaker or musical group that generated all the excitement. He looked at me as if I were from another planet. “No—it’s like this at every service. If we are too late we will have to stand.” Our family was treated to strong Bible teaching that evening and with a sense of relief that we had---“not been late for that very important date!”

I think it was my mom who instilled the habit of being early with me. She was always the first one to any event (and the first one who wanted to leave).

There is a problem with this habit of being early---we tend to expect others to be as prompt as we are! It is a source of frustration to have people rush in at the last possible moment or to make a practice of being late. GRRRRR!

Over the years I have seen the look of relief on the face of wedding coordinators, brides, church staff, funeral directors or others who may be left in a lurch if the minister failed to show up for the service.

Being prompt or early has many benefits, but it also has problems. The greatest problem is our attitude toward the Lord. We want Him to operate on our schedule, rather than doing things on His schedule.

God knows what He is doing! He caused Abraham and Sarah to wait long after the normal child bearing years before the birth of Isaac. He allowed Moses to spend 40 years in the hot desert before sending him to lead God’s people out of bondage. He stood by when Job encountered unbelievable pain before He restored him.

Why does God do this? There are no doubt many answers, but I think one of the most apparent is that God wants us to realize that it is not our own efforts that save us---But His mighty hand of deliverance. HE IS NEVER LATE!

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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