Is This a Delay or a Dead End?

Lysa TerKeurst

Day: 32 | Plan: Exodus

Today's Reading: Exodus 32

Exodus 32:1 (NIV) “When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, ‘Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don't know what has happened to him.’"

We must never confuse delays with dead ends. But I think we do this all the time. We sometimes put a period where our life story may just need a little string of dots …

In punctuation there are terminal points and pausing points. A terminal point is a period, a question mark, or an exclamation point.

But there are far more options for pausing points such as: the comma, semicolon, colon, em dash, and my personal favorite which drives my editors a little batty, the ellipsis.

What in the world does all of this have to do with Biblical truth?

When we confuse what’s really a pausing point with a terminal point, we can get into trouble. And this is exactly what the people of Israel were doing when Moses was so long coming down from the mountain. When they didn’t understand the delay, they decided they couldn’t trust God.

So, they took matters into their own hands and had Aaron form a false god to comfort themselves and combat their confusion. In the end, their solution only added more chaos. And it cost them more than they ever imagined. 

Look at all they could have avoided had they just waited a little longer for Moses to return:

-They got completely out of control.
-They became the laughing stock of their enemies.
-Many lost their lives—it says over 3000 died.
-They suffered from a plague.

They could have avoided it all, including enraging Moses to the point where he threw the stone tablets God had personally carved for them, breaking them into pieces.

When there is a delay in our lives, we must determine to fill the gap between here and there by intentionally proclaiming every hint of God’s activity. Just the fact that we woke up breathing this morning is evidence of His goodness. So, let’s make a list and keep acknowledging that just because God is silent in one area of our life does not mean He is silent in every area.

Also, let’s think about an area of our life where we’ve been waiting for what seems like an unreasonable amount of time. Let’s determine today not to mistake this delay for a dead end. Say out loud, “I will not run ahead of God in this. I will not manipulate or manufacture solutions. I will not give up until God confirms I should. I will keep seeking God, fully anticipating and trusting His perfect plan to unfold in His perfect timing and His perfect way. And if He does confirm this is a dead end, I will still honor Him.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I confess that all too often I confuse pauses with end points. Remind me that my thoughts are not Your thoughts and my ways are not Your ways. Help me to not run ahead of You, but instead fully seek You. I trust that Your plan and timing are perfect. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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