Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. (NLT)
This is a funny little verse. Think about it. The
psalmist says waiting takes courage. Sometimes the bravest thing to do
is to wait for God’s instruction or action. Hmmmm.
In my head, I’m fine with the first sentence. Wait patiently for the
Lord. I know the routine. Give my trouble or request to God in prayer
and wait for His response. But the next sentence affirms my experience
that waiting is difficult. I want results and I want them now. How
often do I ask God for help and then take back control of the
situation? Abraham and Sarah did it. We do it too. Waiting is hard!
It reminds me that the Israelites in the Old Testament prophesied about a
Messiah, a king to rescue them. They pretty much begged. They were
suffering and continued in brutal oppression for many years. But in
God’s great timing, He sent Jesus into the world. Our liturgy says ‘in
the fullness of time’. That means when everything was lined up just
right. The Romans had built roads and commerce was flowing among cities
as did news. Hellenization had declared one official language so
everyone could communicate. The diaspora had scattered Jews all over
the civilized world, providing a network for the gospel to spread. Many
things were just right for God’s plan to be fulfilled. I’m sure there
are many we don’t recognize. His timing was perfect and yet many Jews
didn’t recognize God’s answer to their prayer for rescue.
The bravest stance was inaction. And perhaps in our trials the bravest
action is inaction. Trust. Trust deeply. Trust with all your soul
that God will answer your prayer ‘in the fullness of time’ and according
to His will. Wait patiently, expectantly and bravely.