The unthinkable happened! It was like the apocalypse had arrived. The world came crashing down! People were screaming. Children were running. Traffic was out of control and the world just seemed to have lost its mind. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that dramatic, but I got your attention right?
We had been saving up for weeks for the missing piece to our Paw Patrol truck collection. (If you don’t know what Paw Patrol is, then you aren’t cool or you don’t have a 4 year old.) My son, Jed, finally had enough money to buy this shiny new Rocky’s Recycling Truck. The boys and me headed out to our local Target. Testosterone was dominant and we were ready to take on the world. The three of us walk into Target, locate the toy section and begin to search. But the more I searched the more I begin to panic a little.
“Not that one, he has that one… Why is there a Barbie doll with the Paw Patrol characters? Never mind, keep looking… It has to be here.”
DEFEAT WAS IMMINENT
Have you ever had that feeling where you know something isn’t there, but you keep searching thinking it might just show up because you want it to? Well that was me. After having a sales associate check in the back, defeat was imminent. I looked down at my son and informed him that they don’t have the satisfying completion to his collection. He takes it pretty well at first and I felt like we were good, but then the moment I get him into the car WWIII began. Men were crying, the sun stood still… Wait…I feel like I’ve been down this road before. Oh yeah, anyway, he was devastated.
Have you ever had so much excitement for something to happen or arrive in your life? Have you ever been promised something that ended up becoming a broken promise or never happened?
You have to wonder if the Israelites felt that way. God promises a great land to Abraham’s descendants. In Exodus 6:8 we are reminded of that promise.
'I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and I will give it to you for a possession; I am the LORD.'"
God delivers them from Egypt and they begin the journey to the promise land. But their patience become short and they started forgetting what God had done for them.
In Deuteronomy 31:20 we see how they acted toward God.
"For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant.
They didn’t want to wait for his timing. They didn’t want to see the blessings he had already given to them. They wanted it now and I believe most of us know that just isn’t how God works. They became so rebellious and ungrateful to God that He punished them. Making them wonder for 40 years, until an entire generation was gone.
WORTH THE WAIT
Back to my son, Jerrica was able to find that last remaining Paw Patrol truck, and of course, you should have seen the excitement in his eyes. The lesson here is that just like my son, patience and delayed gratification, were good for him. It was worth the wait if he was patient. God didn’t break His promise to the Israelites. God promised the Israelites the Promised Land, but they weren’t ready for it. Maybe God needed to teach them a few things about patience and delayed gratification. Maybe the Promised Land was ready for them, but they weren’t ready for the Promised Land.
How are you living today? Are you living anxiously or impatiently? Wanting prosperity or wealth? Wanting total happiness without grief. Have you forgotten about the mission; making disciples of all nations? Maybe today you just need to keep enduring and have faith in the promise that’s ahead.