13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 You, however, will go to your ancestors in peace and be buried at a good old age. 16 In the fourth generation your descendants will come back here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its full measure.” (Gen. 15:13-16 NIV)
Rarely is God in a hurry.
Abram has grown impatient after waiting ten years for a son. A decade has passed since God’s first promise to make of Abram a great nation. Yet little has happened.
Now, however, God tells Abram that the ten years are but a drop in the bucket. Hundreds of years will pass before Abram’s descendents see the fulfillment of this promise. And the journey there will be filled with pain and suffering.
God’s work is often slow work. The opposite of what we’ve come to expect in our fast and easy culture. We’re used to overnight shipping, next-day service, and instant gratification. God’s work, however, is slow.
Because it’s comprehensive. It’s deep. It’s substantive. It’s transformative. It’s the kind of work that takes everything into account. Just as, here, God’s plan for Abram was tied up with God’s plan for the Amorites.
Trust in the slow work of God. Wait, patiently, on God.
Father, help me to trust in your slow work. Help me not to try to rush your work in any way. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Review the work of God in your life. Identify some of the slow work of God in your life. Give thanks to God for that slow work.
Chris is a spiritual director, the author of seven books, a father to Jordan and Jacob, a husband to Kendra, and has preached for the Highland Church of Christ since 1998.