Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him… Psalm 37:7
Does patience come easily to you, or is waiting a struggle?
My patience is subjective and situational. Now that my daily life doesn’t involve 3 year olds who insist on doing everything themselves, I find it easy to wait on a toddler who wants to zip her own jacket. It is harder, but I choose to be patient with my kids (most of the time) when they’re acting their age. And I try to practice patience when waiting in line, as a driver, all the normal patience-testing parts of being alive.
But I am not so patient with myself. I get frustrated and discouraged to struggle with the same issues year after year. I know I’m growing and changing, but it’s so much easier to see how far I have to go, rather than how far I’ve come.
And it’s never actually occurred to me that I need to be patient with God. But that is the command in Psalm 37: Wait patiently on the Lord.
The instruction to rest in the Lord and wait patiently on Him sounds quite passive to me. But the psalmist isn’t telling us to sit out of life and do nothing. The Hebrew words translated here are active words. The word for rest does mean to be silent and still. But the word translated “wait patiently” has child-birth undertones: travailing, bringing forth. Birthing is definitely not a passive image of waiting.
What are you waiting on God for?Are you waiting patiently?
I think about the things that make me anxious. Things I’d like to manage or control, outcomes I’d like guaranteed. I think about the unknowns in my future, about the uncertainties in my present. I think about advent and the kind of Christmas season I’d prefer to have (but may not even be a reasonable expectation, given my family and circumstances.)
In those things, what would it look like for me to be silent before God?
In those things, what would it look like for me to wait patiently on God to work, like a mother bearing down as she gives birth?
I don’t necessarily like my answers to these questions, and I don’t love the idea that waiting on God is like childbirth. Because birth involves pain, and silence doesn’t come easily to me.
If I really believe that what God is doing in my life is good… If I believe in His presence and goodness, if I believe the outcome of my waiting is new life, joy, relationship, love…. If I trust God, can I choose to wait patiently?
The people of Israel waiting for generations for the promise of the Messiah to show up in the person of Jesus. Are we willing to wait?
Open up before God, keep nothing back; He’ll do whatever needs to be done:
He’ll validate your life in the clear light of day and stamp you with approval at high noon. Quiet down before God, be prayerful before him. (Psalm 37:5-7, The Message)
How do you respond to the idea of patient waiting as being work, active, like childbirth? Is this helpful imagery, or hard to get your mind around? Why?
What are you waiting on God for? Is it easy or hard for you to be patient in this waiting? Why?
What in God’s character and your history with Him helps you to wait patiently on HIm?
This is today’s devotional from Waiting on God: A 4 week Advent Devotional, which started last week. If you’re interested: You can purchase the Ebook here, or SIGN UP HERE to receive it for free via email (starting with tomorrow’s devotional).
I’ve been amazed and encouraged that so many have purchased or signed up, it is such a gift to be on this journey with so many!