The tension in the waiting

Years ago, I fell in love with Psalm 37 for the first time, maybe for the same reason that you too might be acquainted with it:

“Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

Ring a bell? I mean, who DOESN’T want the desires of their heart, right? The more I spent time in this chapter of Scripture, though, the more I fell in love with it, but for much different reasons. Go with me there for a few minutes, will you?

The writer, King David, does a beautiful job addressing the tension that exists when we’re required to wait on the Lord during tough or trying times, in other words, waiting on the Lord when it’s hard. The challenge that is often repeated throughout this chapter is, “Do not fret…” Our default behaviors seem to rear their ugly heads when we’re required to do something that we don’t want to do. When God says, “Wait” and that’s not the answer we were looking for, we fear, we become angry or impatient, or we simply choose to take matters into our own hands. And all of the above never lead us anywhere great.

So, the inspired words of David offer us wise instruction on how to respond in times of waiting. There is so much in this chapter that could be highlighted, but what I want to do is focus in on just a few verses. As we look through these four verses, let’s choose today to reset our defaults to these instead. Let’s determine to have godly responses in times of waiting.

“Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.” Psalm 37:3

Our first right response? Trust in the Lord. Why? Because He’s trustworthy. Because He will never forsake us. Because He will never lead us astray. Because His promises are true. Because He is good. Trust in the Lord.

“Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4

There it is again—those desires of our hearts. And that’s often what we do: we jump right past the command in order to get to the promise. But what is our second right response in waiting? Delight yourself in the Lord. When is the last time you were truly delighted by the Lord? Is the lack of frequency perhaps a reflection of the lack of time spent in His presence? Because, time spent in His presence will bring you delight. Delight yourself in the Lord.

“Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalm 37:5

What’s our third right response? Commit your way to the Lord. Have you ever asked God to order your day? I imagine we each approach our days with at least some level or amount of a plan, a list of things that need to get done that day and perhaps an additional list of things we want to do as well, whether an actual written list or a mental one. Did it ever occur to you to surrender that list to Him and ask Him to make your day what He wants it to be? That’s what it looks like to commit your way to the Lord.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him;” Psalm 37:7a

Our fourth right response? Be still. Now that is a hard one. I don’t know about you, but I race through my days. I like to be busy. I glorify a full schedule, to a fault. To sit and just be still enough to actually hear His voice requires a lot, doesn’t it? It requires us refusing to worry and be anxious about the many pressing things on our plates. It requires us to quiet our racing minds in order to hear the still voice of Jesus. Choose to bless yourself today with this one: Be still before the Lord.

In our unwanted waiting, let’s choose right responses. Let’s replace our unhealthy defaults with godly ones.





1 Comment


Love this Cherie! Such a timely reminder for me as I start the day already feeling behind schedule. Let me first ask delight in the Lord’s presence and ask Him what needs to be done today, what can wait, and what simply doesn’t matter. I hope he tells me the dirty dishes aren’t important :). Beautiful post.

January 20, 2017 at 7:21 am

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