God did not part the Red Sea as soon as the Israelites reached the crossing point. Instead, he told them to set up camp and wait.
This delay gave the Egyptian army time to overtake them and threaten their newfound freedom. Only then did God part the waters so the Israelites could scurry to safety.
Waiting is a common component in God’s plans. His provision is often a messy, excruciating, eleventh hour, last gasp, skin-of-the-teeth affair.
God may ask us to wait to ensure an optimal result, to protect us from hidden dangers or temptations, or to accomplish something we cannot see.
He may be waiting until we are willing to move in a different direction. He may be waiting until we fully commit ourselves to him and his priorities.
As the Red Sea crossing illustrates, God sometimes directs us to wait so he can contrast his awesome power with the futility of our self-sufficiency.
God says he is good to those who wait for him.
We prefer to believe this declaration means that God will reward us with physical health and material abundance if we endure our hardships with patience and virtue.
However, what God actually means is that those who wait for his deliverance will ultimately deem him to be good.
As we draw near to him while we wait and see the outcomes he produces through our distress, we come to understand his excellence in new ways and at new levels, that we did not comprehend previously.
We discover that he is always good, his ideas and methods are always superior to ours, and his love is indeed unfailing.