Waiting

Photo by Serkan Göktay

Waiting is hard! God called Moses up onto Mt. Sinai to receive the stone tablets with the 10 Commandments.

“Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights” (Exodus 24;15 – 18).

How frightening it must have been to enter the cloud of fire! Step by step, Moses and Joshua climbed until they reached the top. Their senses, especially their sense of hearing, must have been heightened as they strained to find the presence of the Lord, but did you notice? They waited six days before the Lord called to Moses on the seventh day. What was the waiting like? Six days! Six nights! I doubt Moses and Joshua talked. Sleep must have been fitful in the open on the rocks waiting for the Lord.

I wonder if we don’t miss the blessing of waiting for the Lord? We are like children in the back of the car on a road trip: “Are we there yet?” Hurry and flurry are our twin companions. Children want to be teens. Teens want to be adults. Adults want to find success, and those of us with silver hair look back and wonder about all the things we missed.

What did Moses think about during those six days? Did he wonder, “When is he going to get here?” I doubt it. A cloud of fire surrounded Moses. Surely, he recognized the presence of the Lord while he waited! Perhaps he remembered. Could he recall his righteous mother? Did he think about being a prince in the courts of Pharaoh? Did he think about the man he killed when he was 40 or wandering in the wilderness herding sheep for the next 40 years? I can’t help but think that Moses marveled at the providence of God leading him to this point. I suspect he also wondered about what came next – the Promised Land and the people of God.

Today, let’s not be in a hurry. Consider the blessing of waiting. Isaiah promised:

  they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
  they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
              they shall run and not be weary;
  they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:31).

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