The Pace of God

August 29, 2018
Adam Whitescarver

Ever had words leap out from the page at you?  I recently read how, when Christ was on the earth, He walked at the speed of approximately 3 miles per hour.  This was the speed of God on earth.

Also, in Numbers 21:4-5, I read how the Israelites “became impatient [with God] because of the journey.”  Then they said, “There is no bread or water, and we detest this wretched food!” In other words, though they were leaving slavery and journeying to their Promised Land as a community, and had every need provided for, they still didn’t have what they wanted when they wanted it.  

I have my dull moments, but the timing of reading such things almost back-to-back, was not lost on me.  I know people may argue, God is not always limited by a human body as He was through Christ. True. But Jesus said, “those who have seen me have seen the Father” and even Jesus’ flesh was made in the Image of God—both the human and divine natures in Christ tell us something about God and how He works in our world.  

I can only conclude that even though there are “suddenly” moments in Scripture where we see God work like lightning, the 3 miles per hour speed is His general pace.  

Unfortunately for my sinful side, this is intolerable.  I do not want to wait. On far too many of my days, I do not like the journey even if where I am going is infinitely better than where I have been.  Secondly, one look at myself in the mirror and I can tell I am not starving. Everything I need is provided for. My only problem is that I am not being provided for in the way I want, with the things I want, and it’s not happening right now.  Enter Whine-Fest and self-pity party.

When I read both passages, I had to repent because I knew God was calling my number.  God may choose to walk toward me instead of run, or get on a bike, in a car, or on a plane or train.  Regardless of His pace, I must recognize He is Lord and that there is a purpose to why He is training me to endure and grow in patience.  

Our society runs at a lightning pace, so much so that we are hardly able to recognize when we are driving too fast or too hard.  This goes for people who work at prayer ministries where we work hard to not do that!  So my encouragement to all reading this today would be to ask, “Where am I being impatient with God?  Where am I ungrateful for how He is providing instead of how I am wanting Him to provide?” He knows, better than any of us, at what pace we should go.  

Give us grace God to pace precisely with you—neither falling behind, nor running ahead, but staying perfectly beside you.  Amen.