I wrestle with impatience from time to time. It stems from my constant checking of time, I am always in a rush. I never leave my house without something in my hand. The things in my hand are either for the moment I just missed or for a time to come, I am rarely in the moment. When it comes to waiting for things without a specific arrival time or day, I freak out.
I think the Israelites can agree with me and say they have felt that as well. In Numbers 21:4-7 they are seen in the wilderness with Moses. They were at a point where they felt like giving up on the journey to freedom and going back to the slavery and bondage they were just in.
They spoke to the Lord from a place of impatience and the Lord rebuked them. Instead of wallowing in their sin (speaking against the name of the Lord) they decided to answer by confession and asked for prayer.
Reading this passage made me realize how important it is to respond to sin in this fashion. It also made me realize how commonplace the practice of confession and prayer has become. After reading their response, I paused and began to look at just what they did, from what I read I would say they were moved by the Lord's anger so much, they decided to repent and to ask for prayer.
If they felt any shame it is not shown in the text. If they felt forced to confess, it is not shown in the text. From what is shown I am left to deal with my personal convictions. That too often I become impatient and in my silence or in my worry, I respond to the Lord similarly to the Israelites. After the rebuke of the Lord, I usually feel shame or wallowing in my mistake, this text opened my eyes to how a proper response to sin and rebuke should look.
We should confess, this is also written in James 5:16, James is saying how important it is to confess because confession is not just for us but for the one we are confessing to.
We should ask for prayer, prayer is always something we run to in time of trouble or in great distress. It should not be our emergency break, it should be our seat belt, steering wheel and mirrors. It should always be with us and used. In our time of sin it should be our break, making us stop to speak to our gracious and loving Father despite our downfall.
I encourage you to look at the moments you find yourself being impatient. Examine your heart in that moment. Go before the Lord and confess to a friend or a well trusted person then ask them to pray for you.
I will leave us with a prayer,
Father I thank you for your faithfulness and for your kindness. I pray you would show me the importance of confession and prayer, would you also show me my heart? Would you help make known to me the things that make me impatient? Would you help me to trust you more in those places and with those things? Would you turn my heart back to you?
I pray and ask all of these things in Jesus' name,