1 I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help. 2 He brought me up from a desolate pit, out of the muddy clay, and set my feet on a rock, making my steps secure. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord. 4 How happy is the man who has put his trust in the Lord and has not turned to the proud or to those who run after lies! 5 Lord my God, You have done many things—Your wonderful works and Your plans for us; none can compare with You. If I were to report and speak of them, they are more than can be told. 6 You do not delight in sacrifice and offering; You open my ears to listen. You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering. 7 Then I said, “See, I have come; it is written about me in the volume of the scroll. 8 I delight to do Your will, my God; Your instruction lives within me.” 9 I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; see, I do not keep my mouth close—as You know, Lord. 10 I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart; I spoke about Your faithfulness and salvation; I did not conceal Your constant love and truth from the great assembly. 11 Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from me; Your constant love and truth will always guard me. 12 For troubles without number have surrounded me; my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my courage leaves me. 13 Lord, be pleased to deliver me; hurry to help me, Lord. 14 Let those who seek to take my life be disgraced and confounded. Let those who wish me harm be driven back and humiliated. 15 Let those who say to me, “Aha, aha!” be horrified because of their shame. 16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; let those who love Your salvation continually say, “The Lord is great!” 17 I am afflicted and needy; the Lord thinks of me. You are my helper and my deliverer; my God, do not delay.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
I recently had lunch with a friend, who remarked that I had sighed many times during our meal. He noted that this was not like me, that I seemed more weighed down than usual. I reflected for a moment, and tears came to my eyes as I said, “It’s just so hard to wait for God.”
This Psalm speaks directly to my current situation, as I am in a period of waiting—waiting on God’s provision, waiting for direction, waiting for an open door. Just waiting. I reflected on how difficult this process is for me, and my friend wisely pointed out that it is only difficult if I struggle and resist what God is doing.
I have often felt like I must be doing something wrong if my answer does not come quickly. I must not be praying long enough, or searching hard enough, or I leaving some stone unturned. But sometimes the waiting is necessary in order to get us on God’s timetable instead of our own.
As a person who loves to be active and busy, this is one of the hardest challenges for me. For me, waiting feels draining and frustrating. It does not feel peaceful or life-giving or rejuvenating. Waiting brings up all kinds of fears that I will miss the boat, or be left behind. So really, at the heart of my struggle with waiting is a lack of faith—a lack of trust that God is truly in control, that He is good, and that He wants good things for me. Ouch. That is a hard pill to swallow!
We are called to wait patiently (verse 1). We are called to wait in anticipation of how the Lord will answer us, and again set our “feet on solid ground” (verse 2). We are called to be joyful in doing God’s will, even if His will is to simply wait on Him.
Waiting provides a time to search for God when all other answers are hidden (verse 16). Waiting invites us to search for the Answer, instead of an answer. Waiting provides the opportunity of going to Him to be filled with joy and gladness (verse 16), instead of being satisfied with the comfort of having a solution. Waiting humbles us to be “poor and needy” children that are fully reliant upon the Lord alone to be our Helper and Savior (verse 17). For all these reasons, I echo David’s cry that, “The Lord is great!” (verse 16), for this waiting draws me to Him and will reveal His greatness in His timing.
- Are you currently in a period of waiting on God? Maybe you are in a time of grieving, or are waiting for some type of provision. Take a moment to reflect upon the attitude of your heart in your waiting. Are you able to joyfully trust the Lord during this time (v.4)? Are you continuing to declare the Lord’s faithfulness and power in your situation (v.10)? Are you patiently waiting for God’s timing (v.1), or are you demanding that He provide answers when you want them? Reflect with the Lord on these things, in prayer or through journaling.
- If you have come out of a period of waiting, take a moment to reflect on the Lord’s faithfulness in your life (v.10). Make a list of how you have experienced His unfailing love, His power, and His provision. Praise the Lord with thanksgiving for His goodness towards you. Be open to an opportunity to share your experience of His faithfulness with someone today.