I hate waiting.
Hate, hate, hate it.
I can’t remember a time when I was good at it. As a child, I always anticipated the next thing.
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But I also always had a picture in my head of what that next thing would look like. Should look like.
I was all about getting there and getting there fast.
Basically, I wanted everything NOW and I wanted it HOW I wanted it.
But as an adult, there have been extreme cases of waiting in my life. There still are. I could produce a whole list of things I envision for my future (and the future of those I love). And I could tell you in three letters when I would like those things to happen.
N. O. W.
Yet, for reasons I’m not yet aware of, God has put a hold on those things. He has seemed to lead me along the roundabout way and avoided the shortcuts to where I want to go, to where I sense He is leading.
I wrestle with it, I’m not gonna lie.
I share my great ideas with God and try my best to convince Him of why NOW is a great time to get there.
Sometimes I cry like an impatient child who just doesn’t understand the direction or delay.
Other times I feel paralyzed with questions that keep my feet from moving forward.
But I read something this week that seemed to jump off of the page to make its way into my heart.
When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. God said, “If the people are faced with a battle, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led them in a roundabout way through the wilderness toward the Red Sea.
Read it again.
Look at God’s deliberate choice to avoid the shortcut and take the Israelites on the “roundabout” way to the Promised Land.
- The shortcut was short-sighted. It ran through enemy territory that would cause the Israelites to lose heart and go backwards toward slavery instead forward toward freedom.
- The roundabout way took them to places where they would see miraculous things. The survival of some 2.5 million Israelites in the desert for 40 years. That same amount of people crossing a 200 mile wide ocean without one of them losing their life. The same Red Sea that swallowed up their enemies and demonstrated God’s protection.
- The long way allowed them to experience the presence of God on a daily and minute-by-minute basis. The cloud by day, the fire by night.
- The indirect route had the effect of healing a very battered people. It weeded out their victim mentality and allowed them to experience the provision of a good and loving Father who was with them every step of the way.
- The extended journey allowed the Israelites to learn about obedience, worship, trust, forgiveness and to experience each of these firsthand – things that would not have had the chance to have a lasting impact via a short route.
God’s wisdom, protection, love and good plan are all involved in the length of the journey He allows us to experience before we get to our “Promised Land”.
He hasn’t looked away or forgotten where He’s taking us. He has specific plans for each step along the way that will strengthen and better us.
His HOW is rarely NOW.
There are too many life-altering things to be experienced along the roundabout way that will give us a clearer understanding of who He is and how much He loves us.
If He is intentionally leading, I can intentionally trust His timing and His way.
All God’s love and a bag of chips,