“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 40:321 (ESV).
If there is one question that has been asked by every child it is probably this one: Are we there yet? Generations of children have asked it. They have then grown into parents and then grandparents and continue to be asked that question.
You have to wonder how many times the Israelites asked that question of Moses. Before rescuing them from slavery and leading them out of Egypt, Moses told them that the Lord would lead them to “a land flowing with milk and honey.” (Exodus 3:8) He did, but first, they spent 40 years wandering in the wilderness. This was no ordinary wandering, however. They were not lost; they were wandering for a purpose. The children of Israel needed to have their hearts, souls, and minds reoriented toward God. This was accomplished in the wilderness: “Remember how the Lord your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.” (Deuteronomy 8:2) But not before an entire generation died because of their disobedience. Numbers 32:13 says, “The Lord was angry with Israel and made them wander in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation that sinned in the Lord’s sight had died.”
In life, it sometimes seems as if we are wandering in circles. We feel lost. We want to ask God, “Are we there yet? How much longer?” At such times, it helps to remember that the journey, not just the destination, is important to God. How often do we get focused on the destination and forget to pay attention to the journey? We’re anxious to move on from one season of our life to another physically and spiritually. So much that we sometimes forget the journey’s just as important as the destination. Maybe it’s even more important.
When Jesus said “Follow me” to Peter, He was setting Peter out on a journey. Peter didn’t immediately become the bold apostle we see later in Acts. No, he had to wait. Had to wait for the Holy Spirit to come. It was through the journey Peter developed into the man Jesus called him to be.
Yes, the destination is important and we need to have goals and identify where we’re called, but then we need to allow God to set the timeline and take us through His journey. It’s the journey, after all, that prepares us for the destination.
What about today? Are you impatiently waiting to get to your next destination? Or, are you allowing God to take you through the journey? In times when you are impatient, remember to relax, and learn what God is trying to teach you in the journey.
- What’s something you’re currently waiting for God to do for you? What might He be doing in you?
- Why do you think God’s timing is different from ours? What could be so different about our perspective? What do you typically do while you are waiting?