I can’t be the only one who has wondered if God was going to show up. And it seems the longer I waited, the less certain I was that he’d show up, much less on time. Once in a while, I could almost hear Satan whisper, “He’s not here yet, huh?”
I know the Bible is full of people who, like the newly freed Israelites, stood at the edge of their own Red Sea wondering where God was. But he showed up at the Red Sea in an epic way.
God always shows up!
Moses waited a long time before God’s plan for him came together. First, he waited for God to use him – long after he killed the Egyptian, thinking that was how he would bring justice to his people. But God showed up in a burning bush.
Noah waited until it started to rain without end and people realized that he hadn’t been crazy to build that boat after all. Then, after the rains had stopped, he waited some more until the dove returned with proof that they would be able to get out of the ark finally. But God showed up with a rainbow.
Abraham and Sarah waited a long time to have a child of their own. But God showed up with a baby. Then God asked for Abraham to sacrifice the baby. But just as Abraham was positioned to end the life of the son God had promised him, God showed up with his own sacrifice.
Joseph waited and was rewarded several times before he was eventually where God wanted him to be. He waited most of his life to finally have true freedom. He’s a great example of “false starts”. Just when he thought his waiting was over, he took two steps back. But then God showed up with a position for Joseph.
And Job’s wait was so physically and emotionally excruciating, his loss and suffering so great, that it must have seemed much longer than it really was before God relieved him. Finally, God showed up with abundance.
Each portrait of patience points the way to God’s purpose. When I look at my own life and the things I’m waiting for, I realize that my wait is relatively short. That humbles me! Still, I have to admit to a lot of frustration during that wait.
Fortunately, the waiters God chose were every bit as human as we are and sometimes showed poor patience while they waited. Abraham and Sarah went ahead of God’s schedule. Moses thought he’d blown the potential to save his people and gave up before God called him to deliver the Israelites. Joseph surely gave up hope at times. Job just plain told God off! I thank God for his mercies and second chances when we fail to wait for him with trust.
None of us have a starting gun to let us know when to start, no bugles to announce that our time of waiting is over. Neither did Moses, Abraham and Sarah, Noah, Joseph, or Job. None of them got a message saying, “Hold on. In just 1 year, 162 days, 2 hours and 36 minutes from now, this will all be over, and things will be better.”
So when you start wondering when God’s going to show up for you, try to remember that your wait can become an amazing witness in God’s hands. Be patient. He hasn’t forgotten you. He’ll show up. He always does!
In the meantime…