Be strong and take heart, all you who wait on the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
More than 3,000 years ago, after waiting 400 years to be delivered from slavery in Egypt, the people of Israel found themselves camped at the base of the mountain of God. Moses went up on the mountain to meet with the Lord and receive His instructions. But after only forty days, God’s people—who had seen the Lord bring the mighty nation of Egypt to its knees and had passed through the Red Sea on dry ground—grew impatient with God and bowed down to worship a golden calf. Waiting can do that to you if you are not careful!
We have passed the forty-day mark in this global pandemic, and for many, the total shut-down, which so many complied with out of fear, is beginning to lead to outright frustration. “When will things open up again?” people are asking with increasing urgency. “When can I get back to my work? When can I go to the movies or out to dinner or enjoy a sporting event?” If you are feeling some of that frustration stirring in your own heart, it may help to look at two things that speak to the witness of waiting.
Waiting Witnesses to what You Worship
The Israelites grew weary in their waiting, so they exchanged their God for a golden calf. Instead of the One True Living God, they bowed down before an inanimate idol made by human hands. The question we must ask ourselves is this: With all this waiting around for things to get back to whatever “normal” may be when we emerge from the COVID crisis, what have we turned to? Are there any golden calves that we have created for ourselves? What has been the witness of our waiting?
Never forget that God knows exactly what He is doing with this pandemic. He ordained the exact number of days for this worldwide shutdown to accomplish His perfect purpose in history and in our own lives. And what is God’s purpose for us? It never wavers; it is to conform us to the image and likeness of Jesus Christ. Christian, don’t waste a moment of this pandemic, regardless of how painful it is! God is with you in your pain, which means your pain has profound purpose. God did not bring you this far to leave you here alone.
Waiting Helps Us Witness God’s Faithfulness in Our Lives
Our loving Lord is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He provided for us in the past and He will continue providing in the present. If you find yourself growing weary from all this waiting, here are two things to do: Look back at God’s past faithfulness in your life and look up to God’s present faithfulness in your life. If God did not withhold His only Son, but gave Him up for us so that we might have eternal life in Him, what good will He withhold from us today? And if you have even the slightest doubt as to the answer to that question, let sacred Scripture answer it for you:
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)
May that truth set us all free to wait on the Lord. You can be completely certain that He will lead us through this global pandemic . . . just as he led His people through the Red Sea.
You are in my prayers and in my heart.
Purpose and Passion,