The Waiting Game
"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord". I love that the Lord knew we would need a little extra encouragement when having David include this additional line in the scripture. Typically my response to waiting is to furrow my brow and ask, "are you kidding?", "are you sure", or "right now, you're saying the best thing for me to do is wait?!". (Provide as much attitude as possibly when reading those quotes.) Frequently, those responses come from me in moments of stress, anxiety, or when I'm pressed for time. I've asked questions like, "God, I need to know whether to take this job tomorrow or not" or "I need to know right now if this guy is my husband or not". We believe that pressing in, being quick, and getting as much done in a day is possible is a sign of strength and accomplishment. We see waiting as weakness and that it displays unsureness, lack of intelligence, slothfulness, or unpreparedness. We strive to run in the opposite direction from these descriptions by seeking to be quick, correct, and efficient hoping that if we keep moving fast enough, we won't realize the damage that has been done in our haste.
We ask questions in urgency hoping for an immediate or at least timely, as defined by us, response. In my life it has been rare to receive the immediate response I'm looking for, and often times it is for my own good to be patient. The longer I wait to hear the Lord's voice, I tend to react in one of two ways. One, in frustration and impatience. Two, in peace and endurance. I will admit, the second is achieved less often than the first, but something that is consistent and true regardless of how mature I choose to be in the moment is that I am persistent. I have found that although I am imperfect, the Lord is gracious to respond to this persistence with drawing near. Once he has drawn near, even if he doesn't answer my prayer in the way I expect, my heart is still somehow at rest. The length of time that my my stubbornness lasts varies between situations, but when I finally reach the place of rest, I find that that place is really what I was searching for all along.
In that instance, this call to wait on the Lord isn't just about His response to our requests and pleadings, but literally just to wait for His presence, to wait for him to draw near. It's in this place that there's more clarity. It's in this place that there's peace. And it's in this place that we have the daily opportunity to live. In the deepest part of me it is truly my desire to live closely to Him and not simply to receive all of the answers to my questions. Which, is a miracle because I am a seeker of understanding, I want to know the plan, and I deceivingly believe there is comfort in control. BUT when I have truly met with the Lord, I find that none of those things are as important as waiting for Lord, whether that's waiting for Him to simply meet with me or to give me guidance for my next steps. When waiting seems like the last thing we should do, let's make the bold choice to do it anyway.