There’s something unnerving about being stuck in an immigration line while your plane is waiting to be boarded on the other side, especially when the people in the next line begin filing past. You begin to wonder whether you and your friends should jump the queue.
There are also times in life when those who follow God can question whether the sacrifice is worth it. Just like the Israelites, they watch everyone else growing successful despite the fact they’ve abandoned the way:
“What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by [being] sorry for our sins? From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich, and… suffer no harm” – Malachi 3:13-15 (NLT)
Just like being stuck in an immigration line, there will always be times in life that we feel stuck. As we wait for God to open doors or to release us from this season into the next, we can be tempted to abandon ship to join a line that looks like it will get us through much quicker.
However, this season of feeling stuck is the very thing that builds our faith. It’s only faith that moves mountains and opens doors as we wait on God to act on our behalf.
The Israelites encouraged each other to stay the course, and reaped the benefits:
‘Then those who feared the Lord spoke with each other, and the Lord listened to what they said. In his presence, a scroll of remembrance was written to record the names of those who feared him and always thought about the honor of his name. “They will be my people,” … “On the day when I act… they will be my own special treasure” (3:16-17)
This time we managed to talk each other into staying in our line, and when we got through immigration we saw the difference between how much further back we would be had we changed lines.
In the end, the difference between those who stay the course and jump ship is obvious:
“You will… see the difference between… those who serve God and those who do not” (3:18)
Regardless of how tempting it is to take things in your own hands, wait on God to act on your behalf, because in the end, you will look back and see the difference!