Sometimes the way we read the Bible becomes a disservice to our Christian life. When a tension is presented in the plot of a biblical narrative we naturally “can’t wait” to see how it will be resolved; so we rush on to see how God works it all out. And after we’ve become familiar with all the Bible stories, our rereads of the various human crises are often skimmed with the calm thought that “in a few pages it will all be fine… I know how this story ends!”
Unfortunately the impact to our Christian lives in not allowing our hearts to feel the duration of the time markers found in these accounts, is that we begin to feel like our own prolonged and unresolved conflicts, injustices, pains, and problems are bizarre or unusual. We impatiently cry out to God as though he is inattentive or has forgotten about our hurt. But stop, think, and sympathize with the reality that Isaac wasn’t born to Abraham until twenty-five years after the promise. Remember that Joshua and Caleb had to wander through the desert for forty years before entering the Promised Land. Call to mind that the time between the anointing of David as king and his enthronement was a turbulent fifteen years. Don’t forget that the Babylonian captivity stretched on for seventy years.
So when you read your Bible, slow down and experience these stories as they were intended. Recognize that built in to almost every biblically recorded predicament is God’s call for his people to “wait on him” and “be patient!”