If life were a television show, a situation could be dealt with in 22-44 minutes with room for commercials.
If life were a movie, a difficulty could be resolved in two hours.
If life were a book, wrongs could be righted in a few hundred pages.
If life were a losing football season, there’s always next year.
But in life, things aren’t always fixed so quickly.
Today’s passage reminds us that when we call out to God, God hears us. God is faithful to keep God’s promise. We can take comfort in these truths, but what about the timeline? My Bible takes only a dozen pages to describe the time period between the Israelites’ enslavement and the Exodus, but those few pages represent hundreds of years.
Yes, God hears the people’s cries. Yes, God takes notice. But from a Hebrew perspective, the response may have seemed nonexistent. While waiting for God’s answer, generations are born, live, and die in captivity. Mistreatment, oppression, and injustice continue. Despite a multitude of reasons to give up, the people continue to plead for God’s deliverance. And God responds.
God also hears our cries today. Relief from sickness or unemployment may take place over days, months, or years. We are still awaiting answers to poverty, persecution, and racial inequality. And Christ’s promised return has taken over two millennia. Hebrews 11:13 reminds us that many of those who were examples of faith died “without having received the promises.” Our faith requires us to be faithful in prayer and patient in waiting. And, as we’ll learn through Moses this week, God asks us to be part of the answer.
What are you waiting for today? What are you doing while you wait—and how could you be there for others who are waiting too?
God, help me to feel your presence today, regardless of my circumstances. Give me the strength and patience to wait on you. Amen.