How long do I have to wait for God to come through? Come on now, I know you’ve asked this question. We are taught (and correctly so) that our Creator knows all that is going to happen and is already prepared to meet ever single need in our life. We also know that He is good, all the time (go ahead & finish it). Knowing these truths and more, though, doesn’t prevent the challenge of waiting from being a regular part of life. I say “challenge” because I see two kinds of waiting. There’s an almost unthinking kind of waiting, like knowing that the paycheck happens at the end of the week so grocery shopping will happen then, rather than now (if you don’t budget this way, we need to talk). But the other kind of waiting involves a great deal of thinking…and worrying…and pleading…and…you get the point. It’s a challenging sort of waiting because we do know the true character of God. So why do we have to wait, and for how long? In the Old Testament book of Exodus, the account of God’s people being freed from slavery in Egypt in chapters five through twelve, dramatically demonstrates a couple of helpful things. The first is this: God doesn’t throw us in the pool to teach us how to swim (that’s how I learned). Experts tell us that after Moses first told the King of Egypt that he needed to let God’s people go, it took somewhere between 2 – 6 months for the ten disasters (or plagues if you prefer) to play out and convince him to do it. In those months, the people of The Promise needed to be prepared to live on their own, trusting God to provide. So He gave them ten examples of His power to protect from the bad guys and supply all their needs. So, first, the waiting prepared them to meet the challenges of a very different lifestyle. Another truth we can see in this story is that God doesn’t move us along the path with inadequate supplies. If the Hebrew people would have just upped and left in the night, all they would have with them would be the clothes on their backs and a little bread. In contrast, by the time they actually left, read what happens, “All the Egyptians urged the people of Israel to get out of the land as quickly as possible, for they thought, “We will all die!…The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So, like a victorious army, they plundered the Egyptians!” Exodus 12:33, 36 (NLT). Instead of leaving with barely enough, they left with riches…because of the wait! Are you getting this? The wait was necessary! Does that make the waiting easier? In one sense, yes—when there’s a purpose, our perspective changes. But in another sense, no—it is hard to wait…but it’s good to wait. Perhaps this will shed some understanding on these words from the New Testament book of James, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (verses 2-4 NIV). How long do I have to wait for God to come through? Long enough for me to be prepared and supplied. What are you waiting for? Keep asking, but lean in for the changes!
– Pastor John