After a couple of very challenging days with the kids last week, my husband called me while on the way home from work one day and said, “I’ll stay with the kids tonight. Why don’t you go out and have some time for yourself?” I wish I could tell you how spiritual I am and that I eagerly put my Bible next to my purse, anticipating my undistracted quiet time with The Lord. Instead, I whipped up a quick-fix dinner, grabbed my shopping list, printed some coupons, and waited for my husband to walk through the door. When I told him what stores I would be going to, he very sweetly said, “Try to make some time to be with The Lord too.” Proudly, I replied, “I already had my Bible devotions this morning.” Still in the same sweet voice, he said to me, “I think you need this.”
As an aside, I told my friend about this conversation, and she said, “It’s like when someone offers you some gum, and you tell them, ‘No thank you.’ But they really want to say to you, ‘Please take the gum. You really need it.'” Yes, I really needed it. I was creating quite a stink in my home.
That night, The Lord spoke to me through Exodus, the account of the plagues on Egypt. A very familiar story. But I observed something I had never noticed before.
“Seven full days passed after the LORD had struck the Nile.” (Exodus 7:25)
This was after the first plague when God turned the waters of the Nile into blood. The people of Israel had been crying out to The Lord for deliverance from the Egyptians. Their answer would come, but not right away. They saw seven days after the death of the Nile, and nine more plagues would follow.
Why didn’t The Lord just deliver them after the first request to Pharaoh? Why did God continue to harden Pharaoh’s heart? Why so many plagues? But this was about more than just the deliverance of the Israelites. For the glory of His name, God accomplished so much more.
Seven days passed after the first plague, but the Bible doesn’t specify how much more time passed from then until the final plague. In that unknown window of time, God demonstrated His power over the waters, over the animals, over the weather, over light and darkness, and over life and death. He displayed His wrath towards an unrepentant king and his country. He raised up a timid man to lead a multitude. He taught His people how to wait on Him. He gave them favor with the very ones who had despised them. He granted them salvation.
In my life … in your life, God is accomplishing so much more than we can see. We may be waiting for deliverance, like the Israelites. We may struggle with a timid spirit, like Moses. We may be facing a seemingly impenetrable obstacle, like the Red Sea. Perhaps there seems to be an easier way for God to answer our prayers, but He doesn’t seem to be leading us in that direction.
We may have to wait seven full days. Maybe more. Let us cease striving. Our God is an awesome God, and He is doing more than we are able to comprehend.
(Photo credit 1: trenttsd)
(Photo credit 2: amboo who?)