And after the whole nation had been circumcised, they remained where they were in camp until they were healed. Joshua 5:8

I think waiting just might be one of the most painful things we do as humans. Prone to impatience, waiting is not only difficult for us, it’s seemingly unnatural. When the time period of waiting is elongated, patience begins to wane. We all just want to get to the “good part,” be it in a story or in life. I am sure this is just as true for you as I know it is for me. It is a frustrating prospect to be still, especially when forward motion is once again halted.

I can only imagine that the nation of Israel must have been thoroughly frustrated at finally crossing the Jordan, only to have to stop and have yet another delay. But, God’s timing is always perfect, and His plans are always sure. Even in the waiting, He can be trusted. Israel needed to learn this lesson, and so do we. The delay was not a punishment or some power-trip God was playing. God had called the nation of Israel to separate themselves from the other nations through the process of circumcision.

This process is painful enough for infants in our day, but even more so for the grown men in Israel’s. Before Abraham’s descendants could enter fully into the promise, claiming all God had in store for them, they needed to be set apart and distinct from other nations. This was painful, but they also needed the gracious gift of time to heal and rest, physically, before they charged into battle. Waiting was part of the process.

All of us have gone through a season of pain, be it physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. Our Western view says to suck it up, get back to work, and to rush the process, but a healthier alternative is to take the gift of time given to us and to wait, rest, and heal. Processes that are rushed often end in disaster. But when we allow Time to do the work God has given it to do, we can be the very best version of who God designed us to be.

Is there a difficult conversation that you need to have, or possibly a difficult task that you need to do? I would encourage you to take it to God in prayer, then to take the first step toward real healing and lovingly bring up that subject or courageously begin that task.

By Sheila Rennau

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