Throughout the process of "In the Meantime," I've observed how much people despise waiting. Everything about our culture screams instant gratification. We are a people who want and want now. I see this and know it's true, but in the past week, God has shown me how willing and even insistent we are to wait for things when we are uncertain of their outcome. Track with me...
Right now on campus, we're in a Lenten series that is taking us on a journey to the cross via the story of Israel journeying to the Promised Land. Last week's study was from Exodus 14. Israel has walked out of Egypt and are approaching the Red Sea. They see that the Egyptians are coming over the hills and are feeling trapped as they camp in the valley. The Israelites are afraid and stop to cry out to God about their incredibly desperate situation. I laughed when I heard God's response. I was surprised at how relevant it was to me right now.
"Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!" Exodus 14:15 NLT
Lately, I've heard a lot about uncertainty in future plans. Uncertainty is true for all of us on some level, but some more so than others. For me, I'm coming up on a time where my social support is about to be rocked because dear people in my life being faithful to calls in many and various places that are not near me. To that, I say, "Wait, Lord. I'm not ready yet. Put something else in place for me before they leave. Write up a couple of proposals for Your plans of how you will provide for me, so I can be at ease. Don't change anything until I have it figured out and know it's going to be okay."
I find myself insistent on waiting when I am out of control. If I don't know how something will work out, I don't want to jump in until I do know. I heard this same sentiment from a friend about a job issue, another about a relationship situation, and still another about financial plans. We want to know the outcome before we take a step. God is asking something different of us.
Israel was crying out to God. Can you imagine? There's no where for you to go and the enemy is on your heels. I would be the first to say that we need to stop and figure out what God is doing before we do anything else. It's then that God simply says, "I already told you what to do and that I am leading you to the Promised Land. Keep walking. Trust me and keep walking." God asks something different of us because He knows the great provision He's laid before us.
It makes me think of one of our craziest nights in Ghana. We got to our hotel late in the evening. It was at the end of a dark and winding road. Branches of the rain forest scraped along the bus windows as we drove. All of a sudden we stopped moving and the only sound on the bus was that of tires spinning in thick mud. We were a very large bus stuck in a very large mud pit with no dry ground to allow us to passage. Soon after, they had everyone get off the bus and walk the rest of the way of the dark road to our hotel, but the bus still had to get through and somehow it did. The next morning, we loaded our luggage on the bus and walked down the same muddy road in the daylight this time. On our walk back, we could see the wooden planks that some men had laid down to create dry ground for the bus to get traction on.
I thought back to the night before. Our driver didn't know what the next bit of ground would have in store, but just in front of him there was dry ground to move forward on. Life beyond the plank of wood was unknown, but he drove on in trust that the bus would make it. In the daylight, we could see the planks and how they led to dry ground. We could see the path that had been prepared for the bus to follow, but on the way there it was uncertain.
We can always see it walking back down memory lane. We can see how God prepared the way for us and what He was doing all along, but while we're walking on our journey, we can only see the next plank in front of us. He's asking us to keep walking. Don't wait until you're in control, but walk in faith. Believe that God is our Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides. Take steps knowing that God made dry ground for Israel and He will for you, too. Do what He says. Keep moving.