The other morning, while reading the Exodus 32, I relearned an important lesson. Moses was up on the mountain having a face-to-face encounter with God. The Israelites hadn't heard from him in a while, and they got bored waiting for him.
Let's look in at their response:
"When the people saw how long it was taking for Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. 'Come on,' they said, 'make us some gods who can lead us. We don't know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt'" (Ex. 32:1, NLT).
Moses risked his life to secure their freedom. God used Moses to preform mighty miracles on their behalf. Moses wasn't just a fellow, he was the one God used to save them. Moses' journey with the Israelites very much parallels Christ's journey with us.
I noticed three things about the Israelites' reaction to Moses' delay:
- Impatience with God's plan
- Minimizing God's place in their lives
- Willingness to default to idol worship
And we do the very same thing.
We just have to look back over our shoulder to see some of the mighty ways God has moved on our behalf. We don't have to think too far back to recall the times He met us and spoke directly to our hearts. We strengthen and encourage our own faith when we remember the ways God has come through for us when we needed Him most.
And yet, when He asks us to wait longer than we want for the thing He has promised, we get impatient, and we wonder about plan B. We are very quick to make a back up plan when God takes too long to come through for us.
Wouldn't God appreciate a little help on our part to, you know, hurry the plan along? I mean He has the whole galaxy to manage, and well, this is just a little itty bitty thing to Him. Right?
Nothing is too hard for God, but that doesn't mean little things mean nothing to Him. He is the God of detail! Look at the butterfly or the hummingbird or the petals of a flower. Try to wrap your brain around the human body! He loves detail and cares deeply about the details of our lives.
God is big. He is near. And He is intimately engaged in this journey with us. Even when He seems silent, He has a divinely wise purpose for being so.
His part in our journey is of ultimate importance to us. He hasn't forgotten us. He doesn't ever accidentally look away when we take our leaps of faith. He catches us when we jump. He lifts us up when we stumble. And when He makes us wait, it's because He's making us ready.
Our part is vitally important as well.
We must not think for a minute that He won't come through for us. During the waiting season, we'll be tempted to get bored and lose heart. We'll be tempted to minimize God's involvement in our process. And we'll be tempted to build a counterfeit with our own hands. The time in between the promise and the realization of it—that matters. Infinitely so.
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