Exodus 32:15-24, 30-34; Matthew 13:31-35
Moses is so frustrated with the people that he throws down the stone tablets of the Law which God had just given him and shatters them. Moses has been away for a while and the people got restless, impatient, selfish. They wanted a god NOW. So they built one out of all their gold pieces. Of course, Moses was furious, being impatient with their impatience, destroying the Law God had given him for the people.
Wow. We could spend all day thinking about ways we are impatient, with nearly everything -- with toast, with other drivers, with people at work, with family, with ourselves, with God. It doesn't take much self-awareness and honesty to admit that our desire, our demand, that things work faster, even the very way we want them to work, quickly move to judgments, and eventually to anger and division. The whole collection of things which upset us too often tend to build up into a pile of frustration, even hostility. When it gets bad, we stomp around and bark at other people. At its very worst, God gets very far away. We can become the air traffic controller of the world. It's nothing then to throw God's ways to the ground in our frustration with everyone and everything.
Jesus says that his grace, his presence within us and among us -- the Kingdom of heaven-- is like mustard seed. It is small and unimpressive -- easy to underestimate -- perhaps, easy to judge as not worth much. Well, Jesus seems to say, don't underestimate mustard seed, or my grace in your life. It might look small, but it can really grow.
Jesus says his grace -- the Kingdom of heaven -- is like the way yeast works. It gets kneaded in and disappears -- seems insubstantial -- doesn't seem to matter. Jesus seems to say, don't ignore what you can't see -- don't fall victim to the mistake of not taking yeast, or my grace in your life, seriously. You may not be able to see it, but it does its work of raising the dough and our spirits beyond our imagination.
So, what do we do to treat the infection of impatience? Jesus would suggest that we have hope - and hope without impressive evidence. The grace of God might be small or slow, but it comes with a guarantee. Trust it. Healing comes. Sometimes it takes a dose of humility, but patience will flower into trust and reliance upon God.
Will everyone and everything be better and do what I want, right away? No, but we can smile again and proclaim our trust that, the Kingdom of God is at hand. And that will make all the difference in the world!
By Andy Alexander