What do you do while waiting for something to happen? Fidget? Scroll social media? Game? It’s so easy to become distracted while waiting that I sometimes forget what I am waiting for! I have even called someone and then while waiting for the call to be answered, I forget who I’ve called. Then when the person picks up it takes just a second for memory to kick in, reminding me who it is and why I’ve called.
My parents would sometimes leave us alone on the farm to make trips into town for groceries, farm supplies, livestock feed – and maybe just to be alone awhile. I was one of the “three little kids” but when my brother was old enough to drive, Mom and Dad left us alone overnight to make longer trips, usually for church conferences or reunions. We were pretty good kids, but sometimes we got bored.
One evening, the three of us were left home for the evening. My brother and I had the brilliant idea of having a BB gun fight. My younger sister was not at all in favor of this sort of experience. I don’t think the car was even out of the driveway before my brother and I grabbed the BB guns and made our way to the yard. He kindly gave me the higher powered one and we went to opposite ends of the yard. We, of course, made a few rules. One was that you had to aim below the head. We took up our positions, aimed and fired! Honestly, I don’t remember who hit whom. But looking back, it was a bad idea.
Fear and boredom create an unusual environment that breeds poor decisions. There is another group of people who got bored. You can read about them in the book of Exodus, but here’s a recap of their poor decisions.
When the people saw how long it was taking Moses to come back down the mountain, they gathered around Aaron. “Come on,” they said, “make us some gods who can lead us. We don’t know what happened to this fellow Moses, who brought us here from the land of Egypt.”So Aaron said, “Take the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters, and bring them to me.”All the people took the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. Then Aaron took the gold, melted it down, and molded it into the shape of a calf. When the people saw it, they exclaimed, “O Israel, these are the gods who brought you out of the land of Egypt!”Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!” The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.Exodus 32:1-6
Moses had gone up into the mountains to talk with God about leading this nation of people. He was only gone forty days, and in that short time, the people lost sight of their Deliverer.
I want to believe it would take me longer than forty days to lose sight of my Deliverer. I want to believe I wouldn’t look for someone/something else to lead me through difficult periods of waiting. I want to believe my heart wouldn’t wander. And yet, as the song says, “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love!”
When our lives are disrupted by a pandemic, where do we look for comfort and guidance? Do we remain steadfast in the knowledge of God’s omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all-knowing), sovereign (supreme ruler), wise character? Or do we look to other sources for direction on how to live in these difficult times? People and sources we have not vetted (make a careful, critical examination of), but blindly believe because it confirms our deepest fears? And we quickly disregard our Creator?
I have never understood people who are attracted to horror movies. And I do not understand those who cling to stories and theories that feed their deepest fears. Sticking my head in the sand is not a particularly attractive posture to assume, so I make an effort not to do that. I find that taking shelter in the shadow of the Almighty is much more advantageous.
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.Psalm 91:1-4
Where do you find yourself these days as you wait? Are you looking for someone or something else to lead you? Have you lost faith that God still sees you? Do you find yourself to be filled with fear and dread? I have felt all those things in my life and still I find that coming back to the Shelter is the safest place to be. He is my rescuer, my deliverer, my fortress and strong tower. And he wants to be yours too!