Learning to Wait
Today's Reading: Judges 11-12; Luke 6:1-26
And he said to the elders, "Wait here for us until we come back to you. Indeed Aaron and Hur are with you. If any man has a difficulty, let him go to them." (Exodus 24:14)
Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, into the wilderness and now to the foot of Mount Sinai. As everyone settled in at the base of this mountain, God called Moses to come up to the top. As Moses prepared to leave, he gave specific instructions to the elders. “Wait here…” Wait. Hang out. Stay put. Do not go anywhere. Sounds like a simple message. But as is often the case, the people became restless and impatient. How long were they supposed to wait? Maybe they thought Moses would head up the mountain and then come right back down, kind of a short trip. Their measure of time did not meet God’s measure of time. How often does that happen to us? Very frequently in my experience!
We live in a world that is fast-paced, with instant messaging and real-time technology. We wait for very few things. We get impatient and anxious over the smallest time delays. Waiting in line to do anything seems futile and a waste of time. We pray for self-control just so we are not completely rude or offensive to those around us, especially those who may be holding up our schedule. But just as in the days of Moses, there are consequences to the behavior that comes from such impatience. The children of Israel decided to build a golden calf, throw a wild party around it, and make complete fools of themselves before God. We may not build a golden calf while waiting in traffic but many of us (if honest) must admit that we can get pretty foolish in how we handle our frustrations. Horns beeping, people yelling, gestures and faces display hostility…what has happened to us? The short answer: we have no concept of what it means to wait.
As Christians, we serve a God who is never in a rush. The Lord is patient and steadfast. If we treat our prayers like a slot machine or a 9-1-1 call, we will most likely be disappointed. The Lord will wait. So often, He is waiting on us to come to Him, or to come back to Him. He does not respond according to the world’s pace. He wants us to follow Him, not the world. Waiting on the Lord brings strength to our character. As His child, we should be diffusing the hostility with love. There is no better time to be a witness for Jesus than when we are being pressured to act like everybody else. Stop today and think about this message. If you find yourself in a line at a store, in traffic or anywhere that you are told to “wait,” pray for God’s strength to give you patience. Pray for the person standing before you in line or the Cashier before you get to her. Pray that it be an opportunity to glorify Him and be His witness.