I feel like we are all waiting on something. Maybe it’s a college, a husband, a baby, a house or a new business venture to take off. I’ve talked a bit about waiting here (for a husband), here (for a home) and have a whole chapter on it in The Finishing School, but today I wanted to share something I stumbled upon.
As I read Psalm 40:1-4, I was so distracted and trying to see the big picture in these verses. As I traced the events, what I found was a tightly packaged lesson on how to wait on God.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.
As I looked at the original text in the Blue Letter Bible app, a few of these words were specifically included so you may not see these exact words in our versions of the Bible but these tips are straight from the text!
Hi. Isn’t that what this whole thing is about? How is this even a point? Well, the point is, to actually wait. Don’t go ahead of God. Wait patiently for His timing. You might feel like what you are doing now feels like you are sitting around doing nothing but spin it around in your head and see it as patiently waiting. I think approaching it in this way – as if we aren’t just victims to our life but active participants – is helpful!
Pursue the Lord. Don’t just seek the answer, although you should, of course, be asking the Lord to guide you in this, but seek Him not just for answers too but to get to know Him. Every good thing God gives is found at His feet.
Don’t assume it’s easier to just believe the worst so that you won’t be let down. God does immeasurably more than we could ever imagine. We might not see it the way God sees it but it’s always more than we could imagine. Because of that, don’t give up hope. When we plan on the worst, we are discrediting God’s ability, and in my humble opinion, we discredit how much He loves us too.
Sometimes I think I need to understand the plan to trust the plan. I don’t. In fact, that’s not trusting in God, that’s trusting in a plan. We KNOW God knows more than us and we KNOW His plan is good. If we can rest in that, guess what? You are trusting the Lord! You might still feel out of control, but that’s ok.
Don’t believe the world’s truth. We cannot fixate on the world. The world tells us we should have all our babies before (insert your age) or that you should be settled in a home with all those kids. What the world says is important, we forget that God could care less about it.
Actually pray and cry out to Him. Don’t simply mentally complain about it. Complain TO God. He can handle it. And really, he already knows what’s in our heart so we can’t really hide it. Plus, once we do, I think our hearts shift from complaining to trusting.
After doing these things, the result for David was this:
God responded to him, brought him out of the pit
and put Him on a solid foundation
Filled him with joy and singing
Used his story – “many will see and fear”
God blessed him
Maybe your story won’t flow quite as seemlessly as David’s did, but I know even if there isn’t overwhelming singing or even if we don’t get to see how our story is used, responding to wait in this way will be a thousand times better than fear, angst, depression, hopelessness, envy and anger.
Here’s the thing, these tips are not a one-and-done thing. It is something we consistently have to choose. It might actually be easy in the beginning of waiting, but soon we’ll grow tired of the waiting and we will have to keep choosing to wait, seek, hope, trust, ignore and pray. If you are in the wait (and if you are alive and kicking you most likely are waiting for something) I hope you find hope in Psalm 40 today.