Many times we have heard of the story in Exodus 32:1-4 of when the children of Israel became impatient because Moses delays coming down from the mountain, so they made a golden calf and worshiped it. In disgust we might think of how foolish these Israelites are that they gave up on God so quickly. But as I pondered over this verse I kept wondering, “Have I ever made a golden calf?” Now the answer for this question is an obvious no, I’ve never made a golden calf, I have no idols around me, nor do I have enough gold to even consider making a golden calf or any other item. However this golden calf was made during a time of impatience. Have I ever been impatient and if so, what was the root behind that impatience?
The children of Israel had waited for 40 days and Moses had not returned, yet I have I been impatient when waiting for something much less than 40 days? Sometimes when waiting for only 10 minutes, or less, I have become impatient. In waiting I get irritated, frustrated, sharp toned in my voice, I get anxious or sometimes even angry. No, I have never made a golden calf but perhaps the times of waiting have shown that there is already an idol in my heart, an idol that is so precious to me that when I cannot have it immediately fulfilled I become impatient. Because this thing is precious to me, not being able to wait, causes wrong responses to well up within me.
I have asked myself, does having to wait for other people or situations make me feel that I am not valued, that I am not important, that my time is wasted, that people don’t recognize my authority or place within the organization? Does it show that others do not understand how much of my money is being wasted or how important this thing is to me? Does the waiting seem to belittle me, or manipulate me, does it bring frustration because of unfulfilled projects or plans? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then it shows that I have already build up an idol within my heart. An idol that is controlling my emotions and actions, an idol that needs to be removed before it causes me to be destroyed through wrong conduct.
Having to wait, being patient, is a good thing, it is a fruit of the Spirit that comes from a life rooted in Jesus Christ. The lack of patience shows an area of our life that is built upon wrong expectations. Lord Jesus, thank you for revealing where our hearts are, help me to build my life upon You instead of other things.
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