4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[a] to go around Edom.But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!”
6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, “We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.” So Moses prayed for the people. Numbers 21:4-7
I have to admit, I sometimes have difficulty focusing when reading the Old Testament, but recently I found myself in Numbers and before I could even finish the entire reading that I was attempting, God demanded my attention to one particular verse.
“We sinned when we spoke against the Lord…”
Say, what? That’s right, “we sinned when we spoke against the Lord…” Now, let’s say I read this out of context. I totally would have read this and blown it off as an “I don’t speak agains the Lord. I know better,” except I don’t know better because when we bring it back into context the previous verses say, “But the people grew impatient on the way; they spoke against God and Moses, and said “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!” Hmm… that kind of sounds familiar. Let me play it out for you:
Me: (Impatient as I wait on the Lord) “God, why are you making this situation so hard for me? I can’t stand it anymore. You hear my cries and yet, you still aren’t answering. You are giving me more than I can handle. Why aren’t you helping me and why are you making me wait so long to get the results I want? I’m so over this, God”
God: “See above verses.”
And now I see it, I am sinning against God. I never understood why the Israelites were so impatient, I always want to shake them to get their attention and say, “don’t you see what God is doing for you?” But I realize now that I am them. I am impatient and one day I will look back at my own story and see that God was leading me to the promise land even though I kicked and screamed as I went. How could I be so blind to this before? How could I not see that my God is with me always and that he knows the plans he has for me?
I am impatient. I have spoken out against God. I am a sinner.
It is crucial that we keep our complaining at bay and choose to find joy in all circumstances. As I am still working through a particularly hard trial within my family, I must remember that God is with me, God knows the end of this story and God’s timing is perfect.
Do you struggle with being impatient as you wait on the Lord? Did you know that in your impatience you are sinning?
God, I pray that as we all face trials, we remember that your timing is more perfect than anything else we can imagine. I pray that you help us to find joy in our circumstances and to be thankful in all things. Fill us with your holy spirit, so that we may be led in the ways of you, Lord and that the spirit of impatience will flee from us allowing us to find freedom in your son’s sacrifice in knowing that your plan is perfect. I pray that you cleanse us of our sin of speaking out against you and fill us with a heart of gratitude. Amen.
Linked up with:
- Cornerstone Confessions
- Time-Warp Wife
- The Better Mom
- Upward Not Inward
- Fancy Little Things
- Women Living Well