Twelfth Day of Lent

Scripture: Exodus 6:1-13

Waiting is hard. Especially, I think, for children. I don't know how many times my children heard, “Wait! Just wait a minute!” as I tried to finish something. All too often the “minute” became too many minutes and frustration and despair overtook the waiting one as patience was expended.

The Children of Israel had been waiting for a long time. It had been hundreds of years since their ancestor Joseph had brought salvation for them and invited them to move from the famine ravaged land of Canaan to the sanctuary of Egypt. During their time in Egypt they had prospered and become such a strong nation-within-a-nation, that the new powers that be saw them as a potential threat and turned sanctuary into slavery. Into this misery and hopeless despair God brings Moses.

When Moses arrived in Egypt with God's message of hope and the promise of deliverance, the Israelites were moved to worship (Ex. 4:31). God had not forgotten them! God remembered His promises.

How devastating, then, that their fragile hope was crushed by a fresh wave of hardship as Pharaoh responded harshly to Moses' request of a three day pass to worship God in the wilderness. The people became so discouraged by the brutality of their slavery that they refused to listen to Moses anymore.

When the situation looked its bleakest, God began an amazing process that eventually ended in freedom for His people and confirmation of His sovereignty as their God. Waiting is hard.

It doesn't matter what you're waiting for or how long you have been waiting. It's hard to be patient and trust God to do what needs to be done. It's hard to keep hope alive when you feel oppressed on every side. It's hard to keep faith when those you love need rescuing and redemption. It's difficult to wait for God's amazing processes to be complete.

Waiting is hard, but if we can take God's promises and hold them close, there is hope for us. We will find freedom from our oppression. We will be rescued from our slavery. We will be redeemed. He will acknowledge us and claim us as His own. Waiting is hard, but God is God and He is faithful, even when we are discouraged to the point of being faithless.

Waiting is hard, but if we can wait - for ourselves and those we love - God will be God for us. He will carry us through the Red Sea of our despair to solid ground and freedom on the other side.

~Lauralea Friesen, Malmo Mission Covenant Church, Malmo, AB