The Sting of Patience


“The people became impatient because of the journey. And they spoke against God and Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this miserable food (manna and quail)” (Numbers 21:4-5).

On the heels of victory when God allowed the Israelites to conquer the Canaanite King of Arad and all his people in their cities, they complained. They became tired of their journey and tired of the provisions God had given. They not only complained, they spoke against God and His leader, Moses.  They didn’t just dislike the food provided, they loathed it – they scorned, they detested, and they abhorred the blessings of God!

Their impatience became the rudder of their soul. It directed their mind, their heart and their spirit. It became the wedge that interrupted the call on their life to love the Lord their God with all their heart, mind and soul.  Impatience is a dangerous place for our souls to frolic!

How many of us have become impatient with the journey our God has us traveling? If our impatience rules our hearts, our souls become short. Our soul suddenly moves from seeing through the lens of eternity to only seeing through the eyes of the flesh. The more we focus on the flesh – the here – the now – our current circumstances, the more likely we will distance ourselves farther and farther from our God. Our distance will take us further from His blessings; we will see His provisions as debris and reject the changes He is trying to make in our life.

In the desert the Israelites were in the process of becoming a holy nation unto God. While the Israelites were the chosen of God, they were not consecrated yet. God was sanctifying them and cleansing them of sin. Consecration takes time, it takes a journey and it takes trials.

Likewise, God does the same for each of us.

If you are experiencing a hard journey, be patient. Don’t lose yourself in your flesh or your circumstances. Focus all your energy in loving God with all your heart, mind, and soul. Remember that the first part of the definition of love is patience. Therefore, love God by being patient and trusting that the journey you are on will indeed cleanse you, sanctify you, and consecrate you for His work. His work is a new life; a new destination; a new land filled with hope. I have heard the old saying come from athletes, “No pain, no gain.” So true! Anything worth having is going to take some pain to get it. It takes work. And patience is work. But what we get in return for our patience and faith in God is worth every sting along the way. So, in the meantime during this journey “delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).

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