“I don’t like waiting,” Edward said. “Why can’t we try the cookies now, Alice?”
“They’re not ready yet,” his sister said, sliding the tray in the oven.
Grandpa chuckled from his easy chair. “How about a story while we wait for them to bake?” The children gathered around as he began.
God’s Better Plan
(Reference: Exodus 2-4.)
It is not only hungry children that don’t like waiting. In the land of Egypt there lived a man, raised in Pharoah’s own court, who didn’t like to wait. He had the best teachers, many servants and fine clothes. But being a prince wasn’t enough, for the man wanted to be useful and help his people. And his people were Pharoah’s slaves. This man’s name was Moses.
Before Pharoah’s daughter had taken him to the palace as a small boy, Moses had been taught about the God of Heaven. He was the one who brought them to Egypt, and would one day take them to their promised land. “But now my people are slaves,” thought Moses, as he rode out in his chariot. His heart was saddened by their suffering; he didn’t want to be an Egyptian prince any longer. “These are my people,” he said, “and surely the God of my fathers has sent me to deliver them.”
But how could he? Moses saw an Egyptian beating one of the slaves. Here was his chance! He looked quickly around, and then grabbed the man and killed him. “Now they will know that I am here to help them,” he thought. But his people didn’t think that at all. “Who made you in charge?” one man asked. “Are you going to kill me, too?”
Now Moses was afraid. “Soon Pharoah will find out and I will be in trouble,” he said. He couldn’t live in the palace and he couldn’t help his people, so he ran off into the wilderness. It seemed like everything was gone wrong. But God saw it all, and He had a better plan for Moses. His plan was for some new lessons in the wilderness with sheep.
It was off in a strange country that Moses found a place to stay with a friendly man named Reuel. Reuel had seven daughters and many sheep, and he was glad to have Moses stay and help. So the Egyptian prince became a servant and spent each day wandering around in the hills. It was lonely and hard work, but Moses learned many lessons. He learned to be gentle with the sheep and watch over them carefully. It was God’s plan for him to become a good leader, and it took a lot of waiting.
So it was that forty years passed, and it was on a lonely mountain that God called Moses. “I am the God of your fathers,” He said from a burning bush, and Moses covered his face and listened. “I have surely seen the suffering of my people, and I am come to deliver them.” It was God’s plan, and God’s time.
“Oh, that is a lovely story,” said Alice, sitting back with a sigh. A second later she jumped up, for the timer was ringing.
As she ran off to check on the cookies, Grandpa said, “Well, Edward, what do you think about waiting now?”
“I don’t mind waiting when you tell us stories,” Edward said with a grin.
“And waiting makes them taste better, too,” said Sammy, licking his lips as Alice brought in a plate of cookies.
“But Moses didn’t get to listen to stories, or get a cookie afterwards,” Grandpa said. “Was it still better to follow God’s plan?”
“Yes, because God knows best. I guess Moses had to learn a lot before he could really be their leader,” said Alice, thoughtfully. “It was really a hard job to lead them to the Promised Land.”
“I think God had him watch the sheep for practice,” said Sammy.
“But Moses didn’t get them out of Egypt,” said Edward. “God had to do that.”
“Moses was just God’s servant after all—just like when he watched sheep,” said Alice.