Patience may be a virtue, but it wasn’t one I was honored with. When I was younger, it was common for me to purchase an item I wanted just prior to my birthday or Christmas. This incensed my grandmother and mom. Earlier, they had heard me say I wanted this particular thing and had already purchased and wrapped it for the occasion. Proudly displaying what I had bought meant they had to take their purchase back. In fact, my practice became so common that as Christmas drew nigh they would drop a hint: “Now, don’t go out and buy _________.” Age has afforded me more patience, but it’s still a virtue I struggle with.
So did God’s people who had just exited 400 years of slavery. When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses.” (Exodus 32:1 NLT) In the people’s minds, Moses was taking too long to receive God’s commands. Things were progressing too slowly. Something must have happened. So they commandeered his brother for assistance. He took their gold jewelry and fashioned a calf and told them, “This is your god.”
Impatience causes me to run ahead of God. Anytime I get ahead of him, I’ll mess things up because I step outside of his plan or at least the timing of it. Doing this is not necessarily an intentional sin on my part, but it is sin nevertheless.
Getting ahead of God’s plan for me prevents me from learning the important lesson of waiting on him. This in turn often leads me into the trap of believing the “I can have it all” and “Don’t wait” lies.
God’s plan is always superior. Our challenge is simply to wait for it to unfold and then to follow it when it does. Has impatience led you astray?
Prayer: O Mighty God, give us the faith and patience to follow Your plan with the assurance that it’s always better than any plan we might concoct.
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