When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer. -Corrie Ten Boom
About 10 years after “the promise” Abraham and Sarah grow tired of waiting, they start to question and doubt. They take their eyes off of God and reason that they can do things on their own and as a result, they invite sin into their marriage, they create chaos. (Genesis 16) Yet God is faithful and fulfills His promise. . . just much later than Abraham must have anticipated.
Two: God led the Israelites out of captivity, directly into the desert (Exodus 15:22). Meaning they were slaves and then God set them free. . . into the barren wilderness.
That seems strange doesn’t it? Why release someone from slavery only to set them free in a place of nothingness? I believe that part of the reason is that the Israelites had become accustomed to the life of slavery and God knew they were venerable and prone to apostasy. He was teaching them a lesson in trust and dependence.
“What’s that Israelites? You say you are thirsty? Here is some water. . . from a rock.” (Exodus 17:6) “You are hungry? Okay I will provide food. . . from the sky.” (Exodus 16:4)
Again and again God allows the Israelites to need Him and then He provides exactly what they need. And then things go terribly wrong. While Moses is up on the mountain conferencing with God, the Israelites grow restless and tired of waiting, they start to question and doubt. They take their eyes off of God and reason that they can do things on their own and as a result, they invite sin, they create chaos. An idol is erected and their trust in God crumbles.
Here is the good news: Despite the failures of Abraham and Sarah, they are still credited for their faith in Hebrews 11:8-12. Despite the fact that the Israelites turned their back on God and constructed their own idols, God still had mercy and after 40 years allowed the Israelites to enter The Promised Land (Deuteronomy 8-9).
What happens in “the waiting” often reveals the true value of our trust, the depth of our faith. I am reminded (once again) that this is about God’s story and my part in it. Acts 17:26-28 reminds me that God has already determined my “appointed time and the boundaries of [my] habitation.” I am deeply persuaded to consider the examples of Abraham and the Israelites and trust God’s timing, keep my eyes on Him and resist the temptation to do things on my own. God is in charge. God gets to make the calls. God gets to decide time timeline of my life. I get to follow. I get to obey. I get to trust.