“The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him,” ~Nahum 1:7
© 2020 Lynn Abbott
I don’t know about you, but I’m not particularly fond of the waiting room. The uncertainty of it niggles at me.
And uneasiness envelopes me…
Perhaps, you’ve felt it, too.
Without a doubt, the recent uncharted waters of the world’s health crisis have left many feeling uncertain. Fearful even.
You better believe it.
The days drag. The unease seems interminable.
And like a weary child, you and I may find ourselves calling out to Abba, “Are we there yet?”
We get discouraged. We grow tired. And we simply wanna go “home.” Of course, we’re already there. Ironically.
And even though some businesses and houses of worship are cautiously re-opening, what many of us really long for is a return to “pre-quarantine” normal… Understandably, we crave the familiar…
As I ponder this, I can’t help but recall the way God’s people also longed to return to the familiar.
After the victory in Egypt, Moses found himself saddled with a rather large and undisciplined group–600,000 men plus women and children.
I imagine the task of leading such a crowd through the desert to the Promised Land had to have been rather daunting at best. But when water and food ran low, that constituted a crisis.
Even though the people had just witnessed tremendous miracles, they feared.
I call out to Abba, ‘Are we there yet?’
And although God had demonstrated His power and delivered His people from Egypt, travel beyond the borders of Egypt and through the Red Sea had proven uncomfortable.
‘I’m thirsty…and hungry…’
Legitimate needs…food and water.
Looking at their circumstances, God’s people likely worried they would not survive. Some dreamed of the “good old days” in Egypt. There, they enjoyed tasty cuisine like onions. In the desert, they ate God’s heavenly provision—Manna—day after “tedious” day…
I can imagine some of the people saying, “Egypt wasn’t perfect, but at least we knew what to expect.”
Yeah, they had short memories. Their faith–like a tender sprout in the desert–needed nurturing.
Even so, our God of grace fostered Israel’s faith. After all, before His people would be ready to conquer the Land of Promise, their faith in Him would need to grow.
Their time in the desert–in many ways a time of national isolation– constituted a time of spiritual, emotional and physical preparation.
Before God’s people were ready to conquer the Land of Promise, their faith in Him needed to grow.
And God provided for His people. When water ran low in the wilderness of Shur, the people cried, “What shall we drink?”
Their fledgling faith wavered.
And Moses interceded on their behalf.
Again and again, God supplied their needs. He responded with miraculous provision of water, (Exodus 15:22-27).
Yes, the waiting room tests our faith especially when our life circumstances offer us little certainty.
Perhaps, today, you and I also wonder how long we must journey in the “desert”… separated from the comfort of the familiar and from the seeming dependability of what once defined “normal.”
Rest in this: in His omniscience, God will not only provide but He will also consistently use our time in the desert to prepare us for greater things.
On this, we can depend.
“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need,” ~Hebrews 4:16