So much of life is waiting. . .

As a Christian, I am waiting for a lot--for God to do His refining work in me, for Jesus to return, for me to GET how much God loves me and for me to see what He is doing . . .

What to do in the meantime? I have learned much about what the Lord is trying to teach me, tell me and show me through the discipline of daily time spent reading the Bible. So often we make this time harder than it has to be.

This blog was born out of wanting to share what God is showing me and wanting to be an example that daily time with God is not a deep or mysterious thing (well, every once in a while it can be), but simply a time to read scripture and note what jumps out at you that day. We don't have to be scholars or super-holy or ministry leaders to do this. Some days I hit the jackpot and others I come up empty--but only by persevering do I give God the space in which to speak and myself the stillness in which to hear and obey.

As of June of 2017, I've now decided to include parts of our adoption journey, which is, so far, yet another chapter of waiting.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

What Do We Want? Deliverance! When Do We Want It? Now!

Continuing in Exodus. Moses and Aaron have just spoken to the enslaved Israelites and told them how the Lord has remembered them and is going to deliver them. Everyone's excited--the people believed and worshiped the Lord (end of Chapter 4). Moses & Aaron head to the Pharaoh to demand that he let the people go. Nope. Pharaoh instead burdens the people with higher and higher requirements on them--no straw to make the bricks, but no lessening of the daily quota.

Reaction of the people (Exodus 5:20-21):

They met Moses and Aaron, who were waiting for them, as they came out from Pharaoh; and they said to them, "The LORD look on you and judge, because you have made us stink in the sight of Pharaoh and his servants, and have put a sword in their hand to kill us."

"Deliverance? Yeah, right. Now it's worse than ever. Time passed since the worship and belief? Doesn't sound like very long in the text--the next day? A few days later?

Moses' response to the Lord (Exodus 5:22-23):

Then Moses turned to the LORD and said, "O Lord, why have you done evil to this people? Why did you ever send me? For since I came to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has done evil to this people, and you have not delivered your people at all."

Sometimes we think that we are the only generation to be so impatient--and no doubt e-mail, instant-messaging, and cell phones have contributed to our tendency for instant gratification. However, this story shows me that the desire to have what we want NOW is inherent in being human.

The Israelites wanted a good thing. The Lord had promised them deliverance. Yet, it was not a quick or easy deliverance. If someone knows the time span of all 10 plagues, please let me know. The first one lasted a week, and then there were 9 more. Pharah said "Yes", then "No", and then the whole cycle started again. Even when the Israelites were let go, then they were pursued by the Egyptians. Even after the Egyptian army was destroyed, they had to travel in the desert. They had to fight battles. Then they complained, disobeyed, and denied the goodness of God, and added 40 years to the experience. Were they delivered? Yes. Was it quick? No.

The verse that jumped out at me most was Moses saying to the Lord that He had not delivered His people at all. Moses immediately decided that God had not done what God had promised. So often I don't give God time to work--I pray, and then, if the request is not granted in 24 hours or less, well, then God didn't do it. We are so impatient to want answers yesterday.

On the surface the premise can be discouraging--yes, God sometimes gives specific promises to deliver us from our circumstances. Does He do this quickly? Sometimes. But there are many examples in the Bible of long-term trials: The Israelites in the desert. Joseph in prison. Job. We know the ending of those stories--that deliverance arrives. I need to have faith in my circumstances that deliverance (one way or another) will come, but it's just not here yet!

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