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 earlier?
I don’t know the answer to this question, for none of us knows the mind of the Lord (SeeRom. 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 (SeeDeut. 7:9), we believe that He acts in His time (SeeEccl. 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 waits…
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 (seevs. 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…
When 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.
Of late, 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…
Take 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.
My 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.
A dear 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.
Someone else 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 is right!
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 newsletter, andScriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, withAnswers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.