Waiting. Does the thought of it cause you to fidget? For most of us waiting is not an enjoyable experience. We tap our toes and thump our fingers. We push the elevator button repeatedly, thinking that will speed things up. We honk our horn if the driver ahead didn’t step in the gas the moment the light turned green. Even fast food isn’t fast enough. We know what we want and we want it right now.
Sometimes we tire of waiting and take things into our own hands in attempt to get our way. Being “bossy” or “disrespectful” seems to look more like a justified approach, that “the end justifies the means.” And so we push harder against a door that may be closed for a reason. We might get our way, though often at a cost we didn’t intend to pay. Have you ever noticed it is easier to damage or even destroy a relationship than it is to repair one? That even when you mend something the cracks and scars still bear the painful memory of the trauma we wanted to avoid?
Sometimes our situation seems like it has gone from “full to empty” and there’s nothing we can do about it. Naomi felt that way. Her name meant “pleasant” but now she says she should be called Mara, because my life has become bitter. she knows and trusts God but the reality of sorrow and trouble pressed down on her life as they do on ours. At times like those we find all we can do is wait. . . Wait for the storm to pass or wait for someone to rescue us in the middle of the storm. The psalmist writes:
“My soul waits in silence for God. Only from him is my salvation, my stronghold. I shall not be greatly shaken.” And still he asks God, “How long?” and concludes, “My hope is in him. Trust in him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us.” (Psalm 62, selected verses)
I find it inspiring that he pours his heart out before God in such a real way. He asks, “How long” must I suffer? How long will you wait, my God, before you rescue me? I’ve been there, and remain there now. Maybe you too have been in a waiting place where you question, How long? But what speaks to me is not only his honesty in approaching God but his response. Rather than complaining and focusing all his energy on his miserable condition, he waits in silence. He’s full of sorrow and probably disappointment, maybe a bit angry that God seems so silent. But he is not without hope. He trusts in God at all times, not just the good ones. He knows that the provident hand of God is moving in a powerful way even when it isn’t apparent at the time. He turns to God as his refuge. Maybe you’ve been in a similar situation when nothing about your suffering seemed to make sense, but to realize later that God was at working protecting you and preparing you, strengthening, and ultimately providing for you through that difficult chapter in your life. His mercy pours out over you. His strength to endure becomes your strength. His hope leads you. And you see that your God is indeed a good God, a faithful refuge and tower of strength.
I was asked to describe this reality in the short video that follows. I don’t share it for you to focus on my situation, but to encourage you to be real with God as you wait on him in your difficult struggles. Tell him your disappointment and pain. Ask him “How long?” and whatever other questions you want. And when you’re done I hope you will conclude that despite your pain and suffering, “And yet my God, I will trust in you. My God is a good God.”
Click the link to play the video in YouTube. https://youtu.be/tkS5At1Cd9s