Patience and Humility
Over the past few years, I’ve been fascinated by Moses. In fact, I’ve come to love books like Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy because of the glimpses into his character that can be mined from small verses. Like the one I ran across the other day in Numbers 9. It was time to celebrate the Passover, but some men were unclean due to a dead person in their midst. They didn’t want to miss out. They wanted to present their offerings to the Lord along with the rest of the people. So they brought their dilemma to Moses.
Picture the scene. Moses, the leader of the Israelite nation, is presented with this issue on the day it needs resolution. The men wanted–no, needed–an answer right then. Think of it in today’s world, with Moses as the leader of a nation or even a company. A powerful leader, one expected to have the answer for even difficult questions, especially when time is of the essence.
So how does Moses answer these men?
Moses therefore said to them, “Wait [emphasis mine], and I will listen to what the Lord will command concerning you.” – Numbers 9:8
Wait. Moses was willing to wait on God’s answer to the question, even though the question demanded a quick answer. He didn’t answer what he thought God would say. He didn’t say he’s wait for fifteen minutes and if God didn’t answer then he’d make a judgment call. No, he waited on the Lord, not knowing if the answer would take minutes, hours, days or longer to come. Instead, he trusted the Lord’s timing to answer and he waited.
What did I learn from this hidden gem of a verse? That one of the marks of humility is patience, a willingness to wait on the Lord’s answer rather than formulating one of my own, even in the midst of someone else’s anxious need. I want that kind of humility, that kind of patience to wait on God’s answer. Don’t you?
Do you struggle with patience in waiting for God’s answer or God’s plan to show itself? Have you ever considered it in conjunction with humility before? I’d love to hear what you think!