Things were looking pretty grim for Israel. They were slaves in Egypt with no deliverance in sight. But God had not forgotten, and when the time was right, He acted: "They cried out for help, and their cry rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and he remembered his covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He looked down on the people of Israel and knew it was time to act." (Ex. 2:23-25 NLT).
Why didn't God act
I don't know the answer to this question, for none of us
knows the mind of the Lord (See
Rom. 11:34). However, we have all experienced what it is like to
have to wait for God to fulfill a promise. We know He keeps His promises
Deut. 7:9), we believe that He acts in His time (See
Eccl. 3:11), and we understand that He only acts when the time is
right: "He looked down...and knew it was time to act." (Ex.
2:25 NLT). It is easy, however, to get impatient when we wait for that time to
be "right", and it is often tempting to think that God doesn't really
know when the right time is...
When we look at the context in
which the above passage in
Exodus 2 was written, however, we can glean
some clues as to why the time isn't always right, and why God sometimes
Exodus 2 tells us the story of God's promised deliverer, Moses.
Beginning with his birth, it goes on to tell of his upbringing, his act
of murder and his flight into the wilderness. The Bible then relates how
Moses settled in with Reuel and his family (see
vs. 21), and finally, we are told that while in the wilderness,
Moses' wife gave birth to a son: "In time, Reuel gave Moses his
daughter Zipporah to be his wife. Later she gave birth to a son..."
(Ex. 2:22 NLT).
Could it be that one of the reasons we must
sometimes wait for God to keep His promise to us is that we need to..."give birth" to something?
Now I, for one, am groaning at that
prospect. Been there, done that, not wanting to do it again...But before
you write this off completely, go with me a step farther...
I was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, God promised me healing, yet I
waited several months to receive the fulfillment of that promise. During
that time, however, God was so near. My walk with Him was strengthened
and my faith was grown. In a sense, during the time I waited for God to
keep His promise, God "birthed" faith into my life.
there have been many promises given to those I care about, yet their
trials and bad circumstances continue as they await the fulfillment to
those promises. When I look closely, however, I see that God is
"birthing" many good things during these waiting periods...
my son, for example. He has been waiting for over a year for God to
fulfill His promise of a job. During this waiting period, God "birthed"
the opportunity and the funding for him to complete his master's
degree in just 2 short semesters. I've also watched as God has worked in
my son's life to "birth" faith, trust and reliance on Him in the hard times.
dear mother has been suffering from an infected ulcer in her foot for
the past 6 months. God has promised her healing, and her foot is
significantly better. To date, however, it is not completely healed.
During this waiting time, I have seen God "birth" an incredibly amount
of faith into my mother's relationship with Him.
friend who has been in the midst of significant, debilitating health
problems received the promise from God that her healing was coming. Now,
over a year later, she continues to suffer from some of these
complications. During this time, however, I have seen God "birth" the
ability for her to relinquish all of her problems to Him.
who is dear to me is in a relationship with someone who has been seized
by anxiety. God has promised healing, but she awaits His healing touch.
During this time, I have watched God "birth" a stronger, deeper
relationship between these two individuals. I have seen God "birth" a
strong conviction that God is our deliverer, and I have witnessed God
"birthing" in both the ability to fight the demonic forces with the
armour of God.
I could give multiple other examples, but I would
like to invite you right now to think about the promise you are waiting
for God to fulfill. I challenge you to look back over the past few
days/weeks/months and see what God may be "birthing" in your life. The
resolution to your problems is coming, but it may only happen when the
"birthing" process is complete. My advice to you? Embrace the waiting
period; allow God to "birth" those important things in your life; but
most of all, never doubt this: the same God who delivered Israel will do
the same for you...when the time
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author --
"Aboard God's Train -- A
Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.