Psalm 130:5: I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope
You’ll have to forgive the public post here, in which I’m fleshing out a lesson really aimed at myself. Hopefully it’s helpful for you as well, but this is a lesson God taught me this week…
By nature, I am not a patient person. Thankfully, it’s an area of my life where God has been working on me and forming me more and more into how He wants me to be. But it’s definitely an area that I wrestle with. I’m wired to move quick and keep moving; to press hard for results and assume that if I insist on getting them, that I’ll get it done. When that doesn’t happen, I can get easily frustrated. It’s ugly when I’m not surrendering that to God.
This week I struggled with patience – I even verbalized that I was losing my patience. Not over the simple stuff. I think God has tamed me as He’s taught me in this area when it comes to the less consequential things; lines, traffic, promptness, etc. But the harder things require more focus on patience. This week, Leslie was feeling sick again. She’s been dealing with sickness in some form since November. For 16+ weeks we’ve wrestled with trying to figure out what is causing all of these symptoms. We’ve seen four doctors, been to a dozen appointments, and have no real leads or answers. And in those four months, at least every other week there’s been a day where we need to figure out how the kids will be cared for so that I can go to work and Leslie doesn’t get overwhelmed. The weight of that is stressful and not something that can be planned for in advance (I really like to plan ahead). And so, I said I had lost my patience with it. Not with Leslie – it’s not her fault that she’s sick. But I wanted results.
God led me to Psalm 130:5, which says “I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Charles Spurgeon wrote some commentary on this verse, which is extremely helpful. He says “If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes…And in his word do I hope. This is the source, strength, and sweetness of waiting. Those who do not hope cannot wait; but if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. God’s word is a true word, but at times it tarries; if ours is true faith it will wait the Lord’s time…Jehovah’s word is a firm ground for a waiting soul to rest upon.”
In the last part of Psalm 130:5, it says …”and in his word I put my hope” and Spurgeon said “Jehovah’s word is a firm ground for a waiting soul to rest upon.”
I don’t want the situation we’re dealing with to sound blown out of proportion. We’re fine. These are the dealings of life. I’m aware of so many others with far greater struggles than the ones we’re wrestling through. The point isn’t in the struggle, but rather the patience to walk through it. When the harder stuff comes along, I realize that it’s not about self control, but about giving up control. If my heart isn’t positioned toward submission and humility, even me trying to wrestle myself toward patience is a matter of wanting control.
Think about the picture of a traffic jam. You’re trying to get somewhere, and you come upon stopped traffic. It’s an issue, because you really wanted the result of getting to your destination on time. But instead, you’re stuck. In this moment, you’re faced with three options:
1. Wait it out: You can sit there and go with the speed of traffic, hoping to eventually get to your destination.
2. Bail out: You can decide to abandon the mission and turn around.
3. Work an angle: You can try to ride the shoulder, take a detour, drive down the center lane; try to work an angle to move faster.
I realize the metaphor isn’t perfect, because you can be frustrated and impatient in any of those three choices, but consider the options we face when we hit a traffic jam in life. We can give up and throw our hands in the air, we can do everything possible to work an angle and find a way through on our own, or we can resign to the fact that we’re not in control. God doesn’t tell us to sit idly by in all of life, but He does want us to trust Him, rely on Him, and be patient in His timing.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Maybe you find yourself in a specific situation where you really want to see progress, but it hasn’t come. Maybe you’re unsure of a next step for your life, and God has been silent so far. Maybe you simply find yourself in a daily posture of impatience and frustration in life. You react impatiently with people or situations in general, and it weighs heavily on you. Trust God. Give that over to God and release control. “Blessed are all who wait for Him!”