We must lay before him what is in us; not what ought to be in us.
- C.S. Lewis
Don’t you sometimes wonder about those Israelites? I mean, really: a golden calf?! Didn’t God just finish doing amazing things, and hasn’t Moses just stepped out to get further instructions?
And yet before I get too exasperated with those who are stiff-necked, I need to pause. When God doesn’t do what I want in the timeframe that I want, I don't always behave well, either. I don't melt down earrings to make statues, but I do fill the hole that anxiety drills in my heart with other things. I distract myself with fun, or entertainment, or mindlessness. Deep down it's as if I think, If God really loved me and was looking out for me, he would know how uncomfortable this waiting is and do something about it! And if he's not acting the way I want, I'm ready and primed to take charge.
It helps to remember that waiting isn't necessarily a bad thing. Waiting can reveal my impatience, my desire to be in control, and my weird belief that part of God's job is to make my life easier. Waiting helps me see that I am, in fact, as stiff-necked as any ancient Israelite. Fortunately, once I see this, I can melt down my idols and get back to the business of true worship and devotion. Which is, I suspect, what God has been waiting for all along.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.