Around about now, ducks get their best meal of the year. Who doesn’t overstock on bread over Christmas? And right now, it’s going a bit stale. Where better to deposit it than the local duck pond! Just be careful what they deposit on you, mind! The thing about ducks, is they look so serene, gliding across the water, beelining for your crumbs. Yet underneath there is a flurry of activity as they paddle furiously towards their goal.
All seemed at peace back in Pharaoh’s palace, at long last. (Exodus 12:3-11) He’d banned that odious man from his court, and that seemed to have quietened things off. True, Moses had uttered some horrendous threats before taking his leave, but that was almost two weeks ago, and nothing had happened. Maybe life would get back to normal…
Pharaoh was enjoying the peace, but he had no idea of the terrible storm that was heading his way. For the Israelites, too, life had been pretty calm. Moses had given them God’s instructions to start off a new calendar, then they were to choose a lamb to slaughter for their family, but to keep it for a few days before killing for a massive feast. There had been some very specific instructions about how it was all to be done, but other than that, they were just waiting. Well maybe a bit of packing, but mostly waiting and getting on with life.
There was a two-week pause from Moses issuing Pharaoh’s final warning to the events of the Passover. They were still slaves after all. Nothing was happening! Maybe some Israelites even wondered if God had given up on them. Ever felt like that about prayer? You’ve prayed your socks off, and nothing’s changed. You’ve prayed it all. You’ve asked God in as many ways as you can think. Maybe even fasted. But still no change. When my sister was ill as a child, my grandmother was quoted as saying, “God must think I think he’s deaf.” What can we do at times like that?
Well remember those ducks? It was all going on beneath the surface. The fact that we can’t see anything is no indication of the level of activity. God does listen to our prayers. Your need is registered. You are not holding the line in some celestial telephone queue. How he answers is his business. While we do not know what is going to happen, or whether it will all come right in our eyes, what we do know is that our Heavenly Father is not ignoring us; he knows our needs, and he cares more than we can ever know. He is also more powerful than we could ever imagine. And he’s not just marking time. It’s in the waiting that we learn what trust is all about.