What to Do with a Frustrating Delay

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

-Isaiah 40:31

One of the hardest things in life is to be in a mode of waiting. When you feel like your life is suspended while the outcome of a certain event or circumstance is pending, it can make even the most patient of people crack.

Take Cassie, who is waiting to hear back on a job that she interviewed for weeks ago. She thought for sure they would have made an offer by now but she hasn’t heard anything. They said, “Don’t contact us…we will be in touch with you,” so Cassie waits, growing more exasperated with each passing day.

It is tempting to react in frustration when we’re fed up with waiting. It is human nature to take matters into our own hands rather than wait for someone else to make a move, including God.

This is what happened with the children of Israel at Mt. Sinai. While Moses was up top getting directions from the Lord, down below the people grew weary from waiting. In frustration, they pressured Aaron to do something really dumb and he acquiesced.

“When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, ‘Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.'”

Exodus 32:1

Their impatience was a prelude to idolatry. While Moses was in God’s presence, taking all the time necessary to get instructions that he and the people would need, the congregation gave up on both of them. They got busy and made themselves a user-friendly golden calf, a god that they could put a timer on and move around at their own convenience.

This is how it often goes when we’re having to wait and our faith is tested. Will we trust Him? Even though it may seem like He has forgotten all about us, will we still take God at his word and believe that He is faithful and good? Or, will our impatience lead to idolatry as we grab for anything to satisfy our demand for immediate relief?

Aaron was in a tough spot, so we can’t be too hard on him. We know what it’s like when the pressure is on. But it’s worth asking, how might Aaron have handled it differently? As a leader, how should he have answered the restless mob? In retrospect, maybe he could have said something like this:

Are you kidding? Make a false god?  Do you want to die right here? Do you want to offend the God who is up on that mountain with our leader right now? Do you want to incite His wrath against us? Are you crazy? The number one on his list of ten things is ‘You shall have no other gods before me.’ How about instead we make an altar right here to YHWH and worship Him?  How about if we tell Him how grateful we are that He rescued us from Egypt.  How about we thank Him for taking care of our needs so far on this journey.  How about if we stand in awe of the displays of His glory out here in the middle of nowhere.  No, we won’t be making any gods of gold, folks.  Not on my watch.  You can get mad at me, but it’s not going to happen.  Moses told us to wait.  He didn’t say how long – just to wait.  So, wait we will.” 

Waiting is hard, but it is an unavoidable part of the journey of faith. In fact, we’re waiting on Jesus as we speak. With God’s help, may our waiting not turn into wasting.

It’s a new day with God. Run with it.

4 thoughts on “What to Do with a Frustrating Delay

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