I’m impatient. That grass seed we scattered weeks ago seems to be more bird food than anything else. Where are those new sprouts? Push…push…push. Pull…pull…pull. Working myself into a stew. And not a tasty one at that!
In Deuteronomy 1, Moses sadly rehashes ancient Israel’s history of disobedience. Instead of entering the Promised Land, they hem and haw, grouse and gripe, kick the dust, anything other than following God’s instructions. But when the Lord warns them that this is not the time to fight the Amalekites and the Canaanites (see Numbers 14: 39-45), they plow ahead anyway, getting totally clobbered. Impatient bunch. Aren’t you glad that you’re not like those naughty, rebellious folk? Me too!
Sad to say, I’m their mirror image. Antsy and in a sweat. Gung ho and rarin’ to go. At times like this, I can hear the Lord saying to slow down. Wait, already. What’s your hurry?
I need to listen to the Lord. But somewhere behind my impatience lurks a wrong view of God. Much like that of ancient Israel–“And you murmured…and said, ‘Because the Lord hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt…to destroy us'” (Deut. 1:27). Hated them? Out to destroy them?
Hard to admit that at times I think the Lord is out to get me. Waiting for my next misstep, causing Him to put His big leg out tripping me up. Has it in for me. Relishes rubbing salt in my sin’s wounds.
I know. You’re disappointed in me. How could a retired pastor ever think that way? Sorry if honesty bothers you. It does me too. But let the truth be told. Read the Old Testament Book of Job without preconceptions. You’ll encounter bald-faced bluntness, glazed with heated anger and rampant impatience.
So, I pray for a truer picture of God. One that’s spot on. And biblical. Not from nasty old distorted tapes I keep playing over and over again in my rusty noggin. Time to shred them. Heed their siren call no longer. And for this I pray the Holy Spirit’s help. HELP!
Without His help, I’m up a creek without a paddle. Just me?
Lord, help me to know and love you as you truly are. In Jesus’ name. Amen.