The other day I was pruning my hanging flower pot, as a few too many hot days had caused sections of it to die, and I thought of God.

I was pulling the dead branches and leaves off the plant, trying to be thorough and to get the task done as quickly as possible. Sometimes I’d pull off the dead section I was aiming for. A few times, though, I accidentally yanked off a good branch, full of blooming flowers, as I hurried to break off the dead branches.

It made me so sad to know that my haste had ruined those thriving flowers. And I wondered if that, perhaps, is why God is able to see calamity and pain and evil mix with His creation, His beauty, His love. It may be ugly, but allowing the coexistence ensures that none of His loved ones are accidentally torn away as well. To destroy prematurely might mean to destroy more than what’s already dead. And so, perhaps He is more patient than I, and more caring, for that which He is growing.

” ‘They will say, “…Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” …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.’ With all the time in the world, God waits, tolerating the insults of human history out of mercy, not impotence.” – Philip Yancey