Be still in the presence of the LORD,
and wait patiently for him to act...
Psalm 37:7a (NLT)
Waiting. A tough assignment. Perhaps the toughest.
Waiting patiently. PATIENTLY? Really? Seems nigh to impossible sometimes.
I love reading the Psalms. Covering the gamut of human emotion and situations, always I find comfort in the words of David and so many others. Knowing that my circumstances and feelings are not unique, that others have faced the same trials and troubles just somehow brings me back to reality. Keeps me from that egotistical idea that what I am facing in this moment is somehow the biggest difficulty ever faced by anyone at anytime in all of history. I need that perspective.
But, right now, the very last word from the Lord that I desired to hear is, "Wait. But don't just tap your foot like you're in a long line at Wal-Mart. Wait patiently."
Can you just hear my argument with the Lord? It generally goes something like this:
Me: Lord, You can't be serious! Wait? Why wait? You see what is happening. You see how it is causing pain and heartache.
God: Yes, I see. I see what you see. But I also see what you cannot see.
Me: Well, could you show me a little of that? Because, God, THIS is too much. THIS is more than I can manage. THIS is overwhelming. THIS is just too hard.
God: (Chuckling) Yes, my dear one, you are right. This is too much for you, more than you can manage, overwhelming to you, and THIS is most assuredly too hard for you.
Me: Are you really laughing at me, God? Because I am serious here. I mean it! I don't know what to do.
God: Oh, my precious child, I am not laughing at you. I am amused that even after all this time of walking with me you still fail to understand that I have never asked you to carry your load alone. I never expect you to bear your burden by yourself. And I have never desired that any situation you face be managed in your strength. My sweet daughter, I am here. Of course you feel overwhelmed and overtaken by this situation. IT IS too much for you. But, child, it is not too much for Me. I have loved walking by your side through all the joys and beauty your life has held thus far. But, know this, it is a greater thrill for me to hold you close during this storm. I take such joy in hiding you while TOGETHER we wait out this storm.
Me: But, God, I don't like the storms. The lightening is so bright and too dangerous. And the thunder scares me ... it's loud and shakes me to the core.
God: I know. But the storms give you something you need. In the lightning that flashes you can learn to see clearly. That brightness CAN be dangerous but it can also protect you. Remember, I am the Light of the World. I do know how the thunder shakes you. But when you are shaking, I am still solid and unmoving. You can trust me. You can wait WITH me. And as we wait together, I will teach you patience.
And so, with more than a little hesitation, I recognize that God is near. Even in the waiting. Maybe especially in the waiting. And as I sit with Him, spend time with Him, learn more about Him, treasure Him, I find that patience comes a little easier, a little more naturally.
And so I wait. Patiently. Even in this current storm, this time of uncertainty and confusion. And I trust that THIS does not overwhelm, surprise, or move my God. I trust Him and I stand on His word:
The LORD saves the godly;
he is their fortress in times of trouble.
The LORD helps them,
rescuing them from the wicked.
He saves them,
and they find shelter in Him.
~ Psalm 37:39 - 40 (NLT)