When God Delays For 40 Days.
One of the more fascinating scriptures to me is Exodus 32:1. It says, “Now when the people saw that Moses delayed coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aaron, and said to him, ‘Come make us gods that shall go before us, for as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’” You would think that after 400 years of captivity and being apart of the EXODUS that included miracle after miracle that they would allow a bit more time for God to do His work with Moses on the mountain. Not so, though. It only took 40 days and the people were up in arms!
Looking back, I remember times in my life when I had an expectation for things to happen in a certain time frame and in the end, my time frame really didn’t mean a hill of beans. I remember going into my freshman year of high school as an aspiring basketball player. The only problem was that my boyish body wasn’t up for the task of my MAN sized dreams. I was like a little runt who had not hit the growth spurt that many of my thick bearded buddies had. It was not till the summer AFTER my freshman year that the MAN in me came out and all of the sudden I was bigger, faster, stronger. The result was going from a role player on my freshman basketball team to a sub on the Varsity team my sophomore year. Comically, it was still a year LATE in my mind though.
There are several other stories I have of God not working things out in my time frame. It’s funny how that works. I could have swore that I was suppose to get married in my early twenties. God at least let me get the “twenties” part right and I got married to the love of my life at… 29. I recall starting college when I was 18 and after a long detour, not graduating till I was…30. I also remember the talks where my wife and I wanting to at least wait a year before we had children. Well, at least we got nine months of alone time, right?
Story after story and lesson after lesson, God reminds us that His timing is supreme. I have learned through the 15 years of being devoted to Christ that in many ways it’s less about the fulfillment and more about the waiting. The waiting is the place of preparation. It’s the place that gets you ready to be able to handle the fulfillment. So you can fully appreciate it. In the waiting comes the refining, the maturing, the character and the heart.
God’s Promise, My Character.
Just recently we had a very generous family give us a very nice Honda Odyssey minivan. Of course, this is HUGE to us because we are in the middle of the adoption process that will take our two kids to three or maybe even more. The point being, we need a larger vehicle then our smooth riding Honda Civic. Since our second son was born, I have been looking at minivans online, especially Honda Odysseys. That’s almost two years of looking, researching and above all… waiting. We knew God had a plan and in that plan was a time frame. We did not know the time frame, but at this point in my life, I really didn’t care. I knew this season was more about what is God doing IN ME in the waiting, then WHEN will we get a car our whole family can fit in.
Like the Israelites, there were many times that I almost took matters into my own hands. I would go and visit dealerships, call people about their Odyssey listings online, etc. The problem was there was no peace. We knew that God wanted to do a miracle in our lives when it came to this vehicle. When I would begin the process of “creating my own golden calf” so to speak, I would feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit. That still small voice saying, “just wait”, “keep holding on”, “I have not forgot about you”, “I am faithful”. In the end, I obeyed and went with the PEACE over the instant gratification of doing things my way or in my own timing. God was gracious and we are beyond thrilled about the new vehicle addition to our family. We can’t wait for the call when we as a family hop into our new van and go pick up the newest addition(s) to our family!
Maybe your a missionary praying for a certain break through in your ministry or your finances. You could be that praying neighbor who is waiting so anxiously to see your neighbor come to Jesus. Or maybe your are a family that has been waiting for what seems like forever for that new baby through adoption. Instead of seeing it as God’s delays, let’s look at it as God’s opportunities. Let’s make use of that time the very best we can. Grow, learn, love, change and all of the sudden, your nudge will not be to create a golden calf, it will be the Lord making good on HIS word!