Waiting is no easy task. It takes guts, it takes courage, it takes character. I hate waiting. Now, I must say, It’s not so bad waiting when things are “pleasant in the wait,” or you are totally confident that what you are waiting for is going to be Amazing! Waiting is tolerable, convenient, and may even create some excitement for you, but for me, this period of waiting has come at seemingly the most inconvenient time and place. It’s not comfortable pleasant nor exciting. I know, what you are thinking “don’t hate the wait.” Its catchy and maybe encouraging if you are waiting a day, a week, a month, 6 months or even a year, but what about waiting for years for what you have been praying for. That type of waiting stirs up all kinds of emotions and I think to myself “will the answer to that prayer ever come?”
Nevertheless, I feel as though I’m at the crossroads of trusting God’s sovereign will and feeling forsaken, sad, and discouraged while waiting. Even still, amidst a plethora of emotions both negative and positive, I find myself repeating the words of one of my favorite characters in the Bible, David. When I am feeling this low, I try to find someone in scripture who may have felt like me, and see how the Lord responded to their situation. Psalm 13 paints a picture of one of David’s deepest, darkest, most discouraging times in his walk with the Lord. “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2). David was so honest in his prayers and very transparent before the Lord. I can so relate to the questions in David’s heart.
Victory through Vulnerability…
Have you been there? Can you feel David’s desperate cry? Can you feel the anguish, the frustration, the loneliness, the sadness, the discouragement and hopelessness in his cry for help? Have you felt those emotions at one point or another? Are you in that season now…
It’s ok to be real with God, after all, He is God! He knows our thoughts before we even think them. He understands and is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (Psalm 34: 18). So, we don’t have to pretend, we don’t always have to be strong. We can be real about how we feel. God is not going to freak out because we broke the rule that some believe Christians should always be happy, full of joy and walking around skipping and hopping in victory. Sometimes our victory comes through our tears. Through our desperation of crying out “O Lord, how long will you hide your face from me?”, Sometimes we find our answers for victory through vulnerable cries for help.
We can come to the Lord with messy emotions and overwhelmed hearts, and pour out every bit of ourselves before him. We don’t have to button up our words or emotions. We can be a hot-mess in his presence. There is no judgement there. He actually invites us to come with all our baggage, our cares, our worries, and our concerns.
So, why do we hold it in or pretend?
A glimpse in the heart of King David…
King David truly encourages me. There is no pretense with David. He helps me to be honest with the Lord about the things that are on my heart. The good, the bad, and the ugly. He helps me to understand that God doesn’t require perfection, only surrender. Why was David a man after God’s own heart? I cannot help but notice that an underlining theme in the book of Psalms is that David continuously took refuge in the Lord. I found over 20 verses in the book of Psalm which makes this point clear and there are probably more. Psalm 71: 1-3 is one of the many verses that give us a small glimpse into the heart of King David; “In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
His trust in God’s faithfulness and his confidence that He would come to his rescue “in the middle of the wait” is exemplary. I want so much to mirror David’s heart for the Lord. I too, want to run to the Lord, not the mall, not friends, and not stats, and confidently trust in Him to be my refuge when the odds are against me. When I am surrounded on every side, I want to know and believe from the depths of my soul that the Lord will see me through even when He is silent or has not moved me past a particular situation. (I will write another blog post as I go a little deeper into the life of David so stay tuned for that but let’s get back to the subject at hand, waiting on the Lord.)
What I am Learning in the Wait…
Some trust in chariots and some in horses (possessions, bank account, media, population…fill in the blank with whatever you are tempted to run to) but we trust in the name of the Lord our God who is PRESENT IN THE WAIT (Psalms 20:7). God has not lost our address, He is not sitting idle, He is not punishing us, He is not confused about our situation, He is not out of answers or solution, He has not abandoned us.
He is aware of our situation.
He hears our prayers.
He is working on our behave.
He is in control.
His timing is impeccable.
He knows what’s best.
He is a good Father-He takes care of His children.
He is true to His word.
He is in the waiting. He Sees You!
We find strength in the waiting when we rejoice in the Lord.
We find courage in the waiting.
We are CHANGED in the Waiting.
He is at work beyond what the eyes can see and the heart can comprehend. HE IS IN THE MIDDLE OF OUR WAITING. What waiting produces in us far exceeds what we are waiting for. The wait is an important process in our growth and relationship with the Lord. Is it easy to wait? Is it comfortable to wait? Is it convenient to wait? No, No and No, but He promises us that we will receive strength and courage in the wait. Waiting does not mean we are idle. It requires active faith, trust, and hope in the Lord.
What do I do in the waiting?
How do we wait? How should we wait…What I do in the waiting is pivotal. The Lord knew there would be times of waiting and He encourages us by saying, Wait patiently, hope in me.
In the wait… pray, worship, meditate, rehearse and reminisce on his faithfulness in the past. Speak his word, sing his word- that’s what David did. Here are a few promises David rehearsed through his seasons of waiting.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord (Psalm 27:14)
I waited patiently for the Lord, and he inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40: 1)
Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carried out wicked schemes (Psalms 37:7)
I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in HIS WORD I put my hope. (Psalms 130:5)
There is that season of waiting when we feel surrounded on every side and the Lord seems a far off. Our attitude and heart posture in those difficult seasons expose our level of trust in our God who is more than able to do exceedingly abundantly ABOVE ALL that we can ask or think according to the power that is at work within us. It takes the wilderness experience, the valley, the difficult, the hardship, the cave, the pruning and then the WAITING to see our God for who He really is; a present help in our time of trouble, in our time of pain and heartache, and time of waiting. HE IS IN THE WAITING. He has NEVER failed me yet. Take refuge in Him- in the middle of your Waiting.
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Would love to hear your thoughts and experience in seasons of waiting in your life? What are some lessons you have learned? What has helped you get through the wait?