Little by little, one step at a time. He’s changing our hearts and renewing our minds. Teaching us how to be patient and kind, little by little, one step at a time.
I learned this song in junior summer camp long ago. It came to mind when I read what God said to the Israelites when He first led them out of Egypt. He promised to give them the land of Canaan. But there were the Amorites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Jebusites in the land. That’s a big big population! God said He would ‘completely destroy them.’ (v. 23) How? In one big blow? Send an earthquake or a tsunami – wipe them out in an instant! That would be quick and easy both for God and for the Israelites – no need for battles and fighting. But no, that’s not the way of God. He said:
29 I will not drive them out before you in a single year, that the land may not become desolate and the beasts of the field become too numerous for you. 30 I will drive them out before you little by little, until you become fruitful and take possession of the land.
God is practical. He knew that the land needed people to live and work on it so that it ‘may not become desolate.’ The animals (wild or tame) were too many for the Israelites to handle.
The ‘little by little’ strategy worked so that the Israelite population would grow to the size that could handle the vast piece of land and the numerous animals in it. To be fruitful needs time. To fully take possession of the land is done little by little.
What in your life today do you think God is too slow in response? Are you struggling like me, on the long wait and many stops? Are you wondering how come solution or resolution does not come faster? Does God not see? Does He not know? Or perhaps, it is not even about suffering. Do you long for quicker results in your ministry? More responsive disciples? More cooperative ministry partners? Bigger congregation? Faster results? Quicker numbers?
No matter the reason, God sees. He knows. His little by little strategy works! Patience, my dear, patience. That is what the Lord wants me to learn today. So help me, God.