From the Prayer Corner – A Season of Waiting
“I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1
On a scale of 1 to 10, how patient are you? Do you greet long lines with a smile? Do you sit in traffic jams in a state of quiet contentment? As we sit here in February, are you patiently waiting for Spring to arrive? If you are like me, probably not! Instead of patience and calm reserve, times of waiting can be met with upset and anxiety. Waiting can be frustrating and annoying, even in the life of faith. How, then, do we respond to David’s description of patiently waiting before the Lord? Are we doomed if we find waiting difficult? Does our impatience reveal a lack of faith in God or a lack of trust in God’s provisions? No.
Waiting is not a negation of faith. In fact, while the English translations often render this verse as “I waited patiently for the Lord,” the Hebrew text is much more expressive. Literally, this verse says, “I waited, and I waited, for the Lord.” Can you hear those strained emotions? David remembers his time of waiting and how it felt difficult, drawn out and prolonged.
One of the hard truths about our life of faith is that God never promises us instant gratification. Faith doesn’t mean ease; it doesn’t mean prosperity; it doesn’t mean a problem-free life. Despite praying for something good and holy, our prayers may not be realized right away. The journey of faith, for everyone involved, involves times of wrestling and waiting.
Are you going through a time of waiting? Are you longing for one of God’s promises to be revealed in your life? Have you prayed for a healing that has yet to arrive? The good news is that, as hard as the waiting may be, this isn’t the whole story. David says, “He turned to me and heard my cry.” Ultimately, we have a Lord who hears us. We have someone we can go to 24/7. God is never deaf to our cries nor blind to what we go through. Like a loving parent who reaches down to take the hand of an infant, God actively and lovingly reaches out to us.
Times of waiting, therefore, are times when we are called to trust that Jesus is there and that Jesus is working, even if we don’t see it. Our external circumstance doesn’t dictate God’s love for us or God’s presence with us. David’s story is told to inspire others to remain faithful to God in the midst of their waiting.
In a similar way, our story of waiting is part of our witness. Waiting provides the opportunity for us to experience the delights of God in sometimes miraculous ways. Our season of waiting, therefore, should not be looked down upon or condemned. Rather it should be lifted up and celebrated. As we continue to pray, and as we hold ourselves open to God’s loving presence, we may just find ourselves experiencing the promises of God in a profound way.
(portions written by Kyle Norman)
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