Not once but twice, forty years times two, Moses was surrounded by sand, heat, and wilderness. Forty years times two, he waited.
In those first desert years, we aren’t told if Moses knew when his exodus would end, but the end for his desert life re-run was prophesied. The conditions were in place: a generation had to die. Each breath of those who had shaped his life now chained him to blistering heat and grit. All the mothers, all the fathers, probably most aunts, uncles, and even some siblings had to gasp their last breath before his future could begin. It’s painful to imagine Moses as he interacted with anyone over 20 years old. Did resentment, impatience, compassion, and grief collide in his veins?
Honoring and loving, yet waiting. I find myself in the same place. Back from the field to care for an elder, I wonder how a life of promised ministry can now happen. I don’t dismiss the sanctity of this mission, but I struggle with the unknowns.
Daily the manna comes. I rehash His truths over and over: He is faithful, He is sovereign, He is my dwelling place, He knows, He sees, He cares, He is working, He is pruning, His plans are good, and on and on. Then Moses’ words in Psalm 90, written after hearing that he would once again face 40 years of life in a desert, give me new perspective. Mixed in with the dead honesty of the suffering around him, Moses prayed specifically. He asked for wisdom for himself and those around him. He asked for compassion from God. He asked for joy. He asked for satisfaction. Moses even went so far as to ask that the work of his hands be established.
This asking implicitly acknowledged that Moses knew Who contained the answers. I see clearly how Moses trusted God with all aspects of his heart. Moses honored God as God and didn’t pet his fear by trying to manufacture satisfaction, joy, or even purpose by himself. Even though Moses probably didn’t like or totally understand God’s ways, he trusted God to bring value from the life and death that was playing out around him.
Can’t I, like Moses, do this, too? In the desert of death and waiting, my trust deepens as my prayers rise. You, Oh Lord, are the answer. Satisfy me, I pray.
With Covid-19, the inability to make future plans has been real for all of us. How has God brought you joy in the midst of the “wait”?