[D]o you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? (Rom. 2:4)

SOME DAYS I WOULD LIKE TO BE GOD. I’d heal all those diagnosed with cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. I would rescue women and children enslaved in human trafficking. I’d evaporate every tornado, hurricane, and tsunami before it threatened lives. I would bring rain to areas suffering deadly draughts and clean water to third world countries. I would wipe out malaria, typhoid, cholera, and give every single parent a great job with childcare, a warm house in a safe neighborhood, and a reliable vehicle.

But I would probably do more harm than good as God. Lightning bolts and poetically-just plagues would rain down on drug cartels, human traffickers, terrorist compounds, corrupt governments, dictatorships, and on and on. When I’d finished, I’m afraid most of the world would be in charred ruins.

However, “The Lord . . . is patient . . . not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9). As much as we want justice in our world, God wants mercy upon the worst abusers, persecutors, and even murderers. Justice will come, but not until He has done everything possible to bring them to repentance and a relationship with Him.

God’s judgment is tempered with “the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience.” And for that, I am very grateful.

Pray for the salvation of someone who has angered you.

James N. Watkins loves God, his family, writing, speaking, and deep-dish pizza—in that order.

© 2018 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.