God did not give the Israelites what they wanted; entry to the promised land. But instead, God gave them a little taste of the property, just enough to provide for their needs. The entire land was theirs, He told them, just not yet.
Have you ever demanded God tell you why something happens? I question why all the time. “Why, God? I’m ready, ready to move on, prepared to take the reins, desiring to take the next step. And yet you say,” ‘No, not yet.’ The only thing left to do is watch as someone else gets the accolades, the admiration, and the promotion.
Anyone else? I think most of us have experienced similar problems and thought, “Why?”
After the frustration subsides
Sometimes years down the road, after the frustration subsides, we have the opportunity to watch as the wolves overtake them and they fall. They fall hard. It is hard to watch because there are times when I watch, and I think I could have done that. But, when I am honest with myself, I also realize that it could have been me flaming out instead of them. Those wolves could very well have been on my heels and not circling my coworker for the next meal.
There are times, and I would argue more often than we know, God gives us a little taste as he prepares us for the broader mission. At times, I fought and argued and got my own way only to discover the wolf pack was bigger and more powerful than I expected. Our Father reminds us, sometimes, by giving us everything we want, that without faith, it is impossible to please him (Hebrews 11:6).
Try to remind me
I try to remind myself, as I am today, that God provides all that we need and often what we want. He is careful and watchful not to give us more than that which we are prepared to handle. God held back much of the promised land from possession by the Israelites, knowing they could not manage the inheritance. He protected them from their own ambitions explaining that it was for their own good. God knew that if he drove out the people before them, the wild animals would overtake them, and the inheritance would be lost (Exodus 23:29). So, when God holds back some of what you want, to protect you from the wolves, remember God’s words:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).