Exodus 23:29-30 I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased, and you inherit the land.
We’re a people of instant gratification. Information is instant, sermons must be short, church must last exactly one hour, texts are preferred over phone calls, and heaven forbid that we go and visit someone to lift their spirit. We expect gourmet miracles, a rich buffet of life, and incredible spiritual creations, but have fast-food faith. In other words, we want the best, while we invest less and less.
God doesn’t work that way. Yes, there are instant miracles in the Bible. More often though, miracles happen over a period of months and years. Consider the Israelites. Abraham was promised the land of Canaan. For 400 years, his descendants stayed in Egypt. For 40 years, they wandered in the desert. Yet, God gives the land over little by little. Why? Because they were not ready for the full miracle! God is gracious in that He sees what they are ready to handle. He sees their ability to receive the blessing.
God sees us in the same way. He prepares us. We’re jumpy and demanding, asking God what’s taking so long, wondering if He’s forgotten us, asking first for this and then for that, and we’re blown like a flag in a hurricane. Some complain. Some grow discouraged. Some try to speed God along through nagging or “helping” Him. Yet, He sees that we’re not ready to receive His blessings. We’re not ready to receive the miracles.
So He works, little by little, driving out our fears, our doubts, building the skills we’ll need to handle what is to come, and surrounding us with the people to support us. He drives out the old habits, identifies sin that is dividing our focus, and removes our “other gods”. Little by little, He works, while we increase in Reverence, Obedience, Self-Control, and Endurance. He is making us a ROSE in His garden, ready to receive the beauty of His spirit, in order to bless others.
Little by little… Fast food faith will never deliver gourmet miracles. We must be willing to wait until we’ve become the rose God is growing. The rose does not grow impatient, but waits for due season. We can learn much from the rose.