A few months ago, my pastor preached a sermon on Moses leading the people into the promised land, and how God allowed the people to go into a season of wondering while on their journey. When the Israelites left from Egypt to go to the promised land, it was a journey that should have taken about 11 days. However, this was not the case...it took them 39 YEARS. This period in the Israelites history is known as, "the wondering." As my pastor defined wondering, he said, "Wondering is living in the space between where I started and where I want to be." He then went on to say that God does a lot of His work in us when we travel in that space, and then gave this challenge, "How do you live in the space between?" The space between dating and getting married. The space between deciding to start a family and having a child. The space between getting into debt and getting out of debt. The space between losing a loved one and being reunited with them in Heaven...the list goes on.
How we live during the space between, defines our character and what we really believe about who God is, and what He can do. The problem is, is that most of us aren't concerned with the journey, but rather we are more focused on the destination. As a result of this, we are in a constant hurry. For example, when go on a trip we may not even take time to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way, because we are so anxious to get to where we are going. The same can be true in our daily lives. We just want to hurry up and get the mundane tasks done so that we can move on to something more exciting. What if those are the times that God is trying to speak to us the loudest? I am concerned that we are so anxious for the next great thing, that we miss what God has put before us in the here and now.
Why, in this culture, are we in such a hurry? God most certainly is not a God of, "hurry." Take for example, Abraham and Sarah. God had promised them a child, and He was faithful to that promise, but not until decades later. God is not on our time. He has His own clock. I have to agree with my pastor when he said that he believes the primary reason for this, is because God is more concerned about who we are becoming than where we are going. Did that hit you as hard as it did me when I first heard it? For me, it was a real eye opener. Many times I have asked God, "When is ______ finally going to happen? How long must I be in this land of wondering?," all the while forgetting that He is faithful to ALL of His promises and He will come through for me. As my pastor put it, "What God does for us while we're waiting, is often times more important than whatever it is we're waiting for."
So I ask, who are we going to be when God calls us to a season of wondering? Are we going to whine and complain as the Israelites did on their journey? (More on that to come.) Or are we going to be a grateful people who rely solely on God's direction and look to Him every step of the way, while all along, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Phil. 1:6) God does His best work in the wilderness, and out of wondering comes...becoming.