God Can Wait

Reading: 2 Corinthians 4

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Slowly it gets to be a waiting whose outward sense I cannot comprehend; the inward reason must be found daily. Both of us have lost infinitely much during the past months; time today is a costly commodity, for who knows how much more time is given to us.

Letter from Prison to Maria von Wedemeyer (Bonhoeffer’s fiancée) 20 September 1943


Human beings are the losers; God is the winner. God lets human beings start; he lets them make progress, have success, and seems himself to be totally passive. His countermoves seem rather insignificant, and we seldom notice them at all. So we march forward, proud and self-confident and certain of our success and ulti­mate victory. But God can wait; sometimes he waits year after year. . . . God waits in the hope that people will finally understand his moves and want to turn their life over to him. But once in every life – perhaps it will not be until the hour of death – God crosses our way, so that we can no longer take a step. We must stop and in fear and trembling recognise God’s power and our own weakness and wretchedness. . . . Only in these great moments in our life do we understand the meaning of God’s guidance in our life; only then do we understand God’s patience and God’s wrath. And only now do we recognise that these hours in which God crossed our way are the only hours of real importance in our life. They alone make our life worth living.