Do you ever think about Moses? I do – quite a lot in fact. Remember the story? Moses, living a life of privilege in Egypt, blows his gasket one day and kills an Egyptian. Word gets out, Moses panics and flees to Midian. He comes to the rescue of some young ladies, whose father is so grateful he allows Moses to marry one of them. Moses and his wife (Zipporah, if you’re interested) have a child and Moses calls him Gershom, saying, “I have become a foreigner in a foreign land.” And that’s pretty much it for the next 40 years. Moses tends sheep and seems to have a pretty decent life, but one day, God calls his attention through that famous burning bush.
Now have you ever thought to yourself that Moses “wasted” 40 years in the hills of Midian, when he could have been back down in Egypt, helping his fellow Hebrews? Well consider this. At any time, God could have called Moses to the great task of deliverance. It just so happened that on that particular day and in that particular place, God appeared and outlined the mission. So why did it take so long? Maybe Moses needed 40 years of humility and faithful service under his belt before he was ready to go back down. Maybe God was orchestrating other events in Egypt, or allowing his people to suffer just a little while longer before he delivered them. We don’t know. What we do know is that “God heard [the Israelites] groaning and he remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.” (Exodus 2:24-25)
God’s timing is a tricky thing. It’s easy to pray and feel that the door of heaven is locked down tight; that God hears you but just isn’t interested in helping you. You can be sure that the Israelites would have felt that way, yet God was listening the whole time. Not only was he listening, but he was planning to set them free. God is listening to you and he also has a plan. For now, stand firm on that promise.