Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
Waiting. This is one of the hardest things for humans to do. We hate waiting – whether it be in traffic, in lines, or on the phone. Being forced to stop irritates our need for achievement and threatens our sense of security and control. We live in a world where we get things done. Waiting is frustrating because it delays progress, provokes insecurity, and makes us feel out-of-control. Yet, God often asks us to wait on him.
Israel, in the book of Numbers, was waiting on God to move whenever one cloud lifted and descend. God initiated their state of dependency, forming their daily practice of consenting to stay or consenting to go. For some, consenting to go would have been easier because they wanted to get further and accomplish more. But, when God descended, he invited them to wait on him. In today’s text, the Psalmist reminds us consenting to wait on the Lord takes courage and we need God’s strength to wait on him.
Waiting on the Lord is an interesting place to be, because sometimes God asks us to wait with purpose. For example, in the book of Jeremiah, God invites the people of Israel to remain in a state of exile while “seeking the welfare of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7). Other times, we find ourselves growing weary in the waiting and we start to busy ourselves with little purpose. Obedience in times of waiting is not easy. We may want to accomplish more, pursue greater personal autonomy, and seek control. But, God wants to strengthen our courage and believe he will show up as we seek his Kingdom above our own.
Today, ask yourself two questions: Where have I started moving or busying myself where God has not asked to me move? What am I doing to invest in the place God has asked me to stay?
By Yvonne Biel