I have a parenting phrase. "Just wait." This phrase has been 17 years in the making. It started in proper form, "Just wait a few minutes and I will get it for you." Slowly it evolved into, "Just wait a sec." Now I am completely over my grammatically correct speaking and have exchanged complete sentences for code...all for the sole intent of surviving the day and "Just wait." was born.
Do you want to know what drives me crazy about this phrase? Now my precious little humans say it to me. So now my survival parenting phrase has been turned against me.
For a week, I have been thinking about the power of waiting. As a mom, I tell my children to wait often. Sometimes I tell them to wait because it is convenient for me. Other times, I tell them to wait because it is beneficial for them. Either way, when I ask them to wait, I expect them to listen.
I have a Bible story I have been thinking about this week, so of course I am going to drag you along. I have been reading the book of Joshua.
In Joshua 6, Joshua lead the Israelites into battle against Jericho. The angel of the Lord gave Joshua an odd, but clear plan to bring the walls down. He told them to walk around Jericho once for 6 days and on the 7th day, walk around 7 times. Every childhood song about the Israelites and the battle of Jericho has played through my mind while writing this post.
In Joshua 6:16-19, Joshua gave the command for the 7th day of walking around Jericho. He gave these instructions for the 7th time around the wall of Jericho, “Shout! For the Lord has given you the city! The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to the Lord. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to the Lord and must go into his treasury.”
God performed a miracle for them. As they shouted on their 7th time around on that 7th day, the walls came down. The city was unable to protect itself.
Oh, and one last thing...God told the people to leave the silver, gold, bronze, and iron for the Him. Simple instructions.
Unfortunately, we learn in Joshua 7 that one Israelite couldn't resist, Achan. "When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath."
The penalty for this disobedience was the death and destruction of his entire family. A very high price to pay for just being related to the man who stole silver and gold.
For me, this story has always ended with the death of Achan. This time, I read on.
In Joshua 8, the Israelites continued to conquer the people living in the promise land. The Lord told Joshua, “Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city.”
What! Now they can have the plunder? I thought God told them at Jericho that all the valuables belonged to Him? If Achan had just held on a little longer, he could have had the blessing to take what he wanted. Instead, he went before God's timing and took what was not his and paid with his life.
Joshua 6-8 is another tangible lesson on giving God the first fruits of our labor. Jericho was the first of many cities to be conquered in the promise land. God didn't need the plunder, but he wanted their obedience. He wanted to be first in their lives and after that, came the blessing.
Waiting is hard. I get it. We live in a time when most of what we want can be found immediately. Unfortunately, what can be found quickly is not always God's best for us.
all thrive when we are obedient to God's timing and we are willing to wait.
Can I tell you how many times I have been upset about something and instead of praying and waiting for God's leading, I ran in and made a mess?
Can I tell you how many times I wanted something and I didn't have the money and I bought it anyway?
Can I tell you how many times I took a job or said I could do something when I knew it wasn't what God wanted for me and I was miserable?
Can I tell you how many times I lost my patience with my kids instead of waiting for God's discernment and wisdom to handle a problem?
He has something better.
He has the very best.
Achan's entire family was destroyed because he didn't obey. How often do we drag our families through our mess because we didn't follow God? How many times do we settle for less when God's best is one step past obedience?
This is so often how God is with us. He tells us to hold. He nudges us to wait. It is our choice to obey. Right around the corner He has something so good. Obedience is the only prerequisite.
I am a girl passionately in love with Jesus, my husband, and my children. I am forever learning how to live a life completely undone for my God. This blog is about my journey and a few funny stories in between.