God is slow. There’s something about slowness that God treasures (and we do not).
God prefers the slow nature of seed growth. Look around nature and you will see a world filled with slow growth. The slower the growth, often the healthier the plant.
Fast things in nature are often deadly, though of course there are exceptions. And God has been known to operate quite fast on occasion, especially if His children are under threat (for example, notice how fast the father RUNS in the parable of the Prodigal Son). But as a rule, God prefers a leisurely walk on a very slow path.
I love to run. I am a runner. There’s nothing wrong with running, of course, but it has to be said that God did not run through the cool of the garden, he walked. He did not sprint through the beauty of Eden. He walked.
I imagine it was an intentionally slow and purposeful gait. Instead of walking, God could have easily transported himself to the shores of some alien planet’s sea and darted off to another galaxy, and popped back and run circles around Adam and Eve. But instead, he walked. I imagine that Adam and Eve had to slow their pace to match His. Foot after foot. Step by step.
When Jesus needed to get across the Sea of Galilee, theologically, the Son of God could have instantly transported himself across the barrier. After all, God’s done it before. God did it for Philip and Elijah. He gave them instant transportation (which he one day will do for all His children, grabbing them instantly away). But the instantaneous is not God’s preference. God likes to go quite slow.
In the middle of the storm, when the disciples spotted Jesus, what was he doing? Was he running across the sea? No. Was he surfing? No. Jesus was walking. He was in no particular hurry to get through this monstrous storm. His destination was never in doubt, so maybe Jesus was enjoying the epic nature of the storm? That is possible, but I wonder if He was actually modeling something for His disciples. Perhaps, just like us, Jesus was enduring the brutality and force of the wind by simply putting one foot in front of another. Step by step.
God was no longer in the cool of the garden. No, now He was walking through whipping winds, and the terrifying waves that threatened to pull Him under. And yet, nothing and no one can make God change His gait. You can’t make Him crawl or sprint, not when He wants to walk.
There is often an intolerable slowness with how God walks us through trauma or tragedy. And it can easily be mistaken for cruelty and harshness. But that’s ruled out by His care and His personality elsewhere. And yet, why so slow? Why does God walk us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death? Why not run through? It’s a fair question. Maybe in the cool of the evening, we should go out for a walk and ask God why. Why God, do you like the slow? Why do you love to walk?