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Are you Picking up the Scalpel?

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

God displayed a track record of faithfulness in my life and in the life of the Israelites, yet often, I exhibit that poorly. I recently reflected upon Exodus 32 and the Israelites making of the infamous golden calf while they were waiting for Moses who was up on the mountain meeting with God. I have to admit that sometimes, in the past, I have reflected judgmentally on how the Israelites could be so stupid to revere a silly golden calf when the God of the universe had recently acted mightily on their behalf. While they were waiting at the bottom of Mt Sinai, they couldn’t see what Moses and God were doing. To them, the amount of time they were waiting was just too long, so they grew impatient. Their restlessness caused them to begin looking to something else to deliver them. They had witnessed astonishing miracles up to this point:

  1. God powerfully enacted 10 plagues to get the Egyptian Pharaoh to allow them to leave the bondage of 400 years of slavery

  2. God stopped the waters of the Red Sea and allowed them to walk across on dry land

  3. God provided the manna for the Israelites each morning and water for them in the desert

  4. God gave them a miraculous victory over the Amalekites

  5. Even God causing Moses to lead them was a miracle - Moses seemed to not want the responsibility

Yet, Israel was quick to forget. So am I. Disappointingly, their idol worship did not begin with the golden calf…it started with the idol of self-sufficiency. They grew weary of waiting on God; they didn’t trust God, so they took matters into their own hands and crafted a pathetic substitute to bow down to instead. The fresh message that God gave to me as I studied this passage is that God wants to grow me as I sit in the waiting room, standing-by for His provision. I can only learn this faith lesson as I wait on the Great Physician. He doesn’t grow my faith during times of ease; He grows my faith why I look out for Him.

It’s as if I am in a hospital, waiting on a loved one who is undergoing complicated surgery. I tire of the delay. I worry. I fret. I take control. I think I can do a better job than the skilled surgeon who has years of medical training. So, I barge into the operating room; I grab the scalpel out of the surgeon’s hands, and I begin cutting away at my loved one. Does that sound ridiculous? It does. (GULP) Sadly, this is how I often act with God. Honestly, I take the scalpel from the Great Physicians hands more often than I want to admit. Lord, help me to stay in the waiting room and trust YOU to operate on the circumstances of my life. You are the Great Surgeon of my life and my circumstances - I want You to operate, NOT me! Can you relate?

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