What I’ve learned from living in a city is that waiting on the little green man is both time-consuming but also well worth it.
When you’re in England, the wait becomes even more important. If you still aren’t used to the people driving on the other side of the road, then there is the possibility you will look in the wrong direction when stepping out to cross the street.
Waiting for the go-ahead from the green man on the pedestrian paths can be frustrating and the pause longer than you’d expected, but I’ve come to appreciate and understand the importance of the wait.
Exodus 40:36 tells us something beautiful about the Israelites. The same people who had been rebellious and impatient when Moses was on the mountain meeting with God now were in-tune with the desires of the Lord. Instead of building an idol of impatience, they were learning to listen.
To go when He said go.
To rest when He said rest.
“Throughout all their journeys whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out”
The very next verse goes on to say that when the cloud remained over the tabernacle the people didn’t move. In this simple pair of verses we see an entire transformation of the Israelite people. They are learning what it means to be obedient, to be entirely dependent upon the Lord for everything.
The Israelites had been tested in listening many times before. God instructed them through Moses to leave Egypt. He provided directions on how they were to collect the manna He rained down for them. The Lord also told them how to build His tabernacle, down to the specifications of fabric and length.
For years the Israelites had walked around the same mountain. Over and over they failed the tests they were given, never growing in their faith. Instead they constantly put their feelings and fears above the Father. If they couldn’t see something, their belief in God wasn’t secure enough for them to walk in confidence.
How many of us continue to go around the same mountain time after time? Today God is calling us to a deeper level of trust with Him. No, it isn’t easy. We live in a world that encourages you to fight for what you want, to chase your dreams. And God is telling us to learn to listen to His voice, to heed His heart. He wants to guide you, but are you willing to shut your flesh up and open your ears to the King of kings?