I took my little girl Jamie for shopping the other day, well, not purposely for shopping, I needed to go to the bank. I saw a nice pair of shoes that's on sale, and I asked her if she'd like that for her birthday, she gladly said yes. She's turning 4 on next Friday. I told her if I was gonna buy them, she had to agree that she couldn't have them until her birthday. She agreed without any hesitation.
What a mistake! All the way home she kept nagging me. She wanted NOW! She did all she could with all her power trying to get through to me. She cried, she yelled, she begged, she said, "please, please, please, with sugar on top", then she said, "your not my friend! Your not coming to my birthday party!" then after a while she said, "I'll be your friend? You can have some of my presents!" even the baby's having mercy with her and trying to help her out. Eventually I had to say, " the shoes are still at the shop, the lady at the shop said she'll keep them until your birthday."(Is there any grace or mercy for parents lying?) I felt terrible saying those words, but they did keep her quiet.
Then suddenly I'm thinking, isn't it like God's promise to us sometimes? He'll promise us something, then we'll eagerly and happily agree and jump into it, then He'll withdraw from it, leaving us struggling all by ourselves, wondering where God's actions could be. Does this prayer sound familiar to you "God! You led me into this but where are you?" Can He just hold the promise(presents) until the time(birthday) He can actually give to us? Can't He wait? Is God impatient or are we impatient? Why did God tell Abraham that he's gonna have a child then had him wait for 25 years? What if I buy all the presents, and wrapped them all up and present them to Jamie: "Here's all your presents for your birthday, but you have to wait until your birthday next year to open them." ? I think both she and me will be crazy.
But why does God do that? I'm sure it hurts Him more than it hurts us in waiting.
I come across this verse in the Bible, "Therefore I am now going to allure her; I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her." (Hosea 2:14)
This is really a continuous part of the post below "death of a seed".
In order for faith(pure gold) to work, we have to go through fire. But nobody by our human nature will take the challenge of fire willingly at the beginning. But our combined quality of faith(rough gold) is not good enough for the real value.
This other story might explain better.
A mother eagle had a baby eagle. The baby eagle grew up in a nest on a tall tree. His mother brought food to him every day and he grew up day by day. Then one day his mother thinks he's now big enough to get his own food and start his own life. But the little eagle has been so used to being fed, he didn't want to leave his comfortable little nest. Then the mommy brought a bit of yummy food and showed him at the entrance of the nest. The little one stepped out, and the mother withdrew, the little eagle stepped out more and oops, he fell. The mother quickly flew over and caught him on her wings. This practise went on for quite a while then suddenly one day the little eagle discovered his own wings during a fall and he flapped them and off he flies!
A lot of the times we're just like that little eagle. We don't want to go through the desert experience. We don't want to go through fire. We can't even see with our flesh eyes what real gold is. We can't understand what freedom and be able to fly and find our own food really means.
So God had to use this little "bait", to allure us into the desert, our training ground. When we fall, He will then catch us. When we cry, He'll comfort us. But unless we graduate, He won't compromise.
Let's look at Moses' life again. First 40 years, he had all the royal education and upbringings, he thought he was capable enough to do the job. He was wrong. Then he was led into the desert. 40 years! His natural belief of his fleshy power's gone by the harsh wind and the sand of the desert. The fire was hot enough and long enough. Then he's usable to God. When he got to the red sea, he could just stretgh out his arms, without asking everyone to get a bucket to try to get the water out. When God moves, he's bold enough to move, and when God stops, he knew Him enough to stay still. He's trained. He's not a wild horse any more, but rather, a trained royal horse.
God cannot compromise His way to fit into our ways. And He Will not share His glory with anyone.
To be a partner with God, we have to quit manipulating in our own ways. Let His way come through!