I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living!
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
I have never been good at waiting. I was the one who shook the Christmas presents the moment they were placed under the tree; the one who skimmed the last chapter of a book before I began reading the first page; the one who laughed when friends would ask if I would wait to find out my baby’s gender. No, waiting has never been easy for me. Like every Type A personality, if there’s one thing I can rest my head on comfortably at the end of an overwhelming day, it’s the soft pillow of control. Control—knowing what’s coming, how it’s coming, when it’s coming, and how I can finagle what is coming to best fit my agenda. Control—believing that I alone know what is good and best for myself; I alone can be trusted with my life; I alone can determine the trajectory of my existence. Why, then, would I sit back and wait for what’s to come, when I can act now and know what lies ahead?
In Psalm 27, David has no idea what the future holds. Enemies are chasing him, armies are encamped around him, family has forsaken him; in a nutshell, his situation seems completely out of control. And, yet, his attitude is not one of fearful hurriedness; rather, it is one of calm anticipation. In the midst of uncertainty, of a future unknown, of the unanswered question of when his present suffering will end, David commands himself to “Wait for the LORD!” But, why? What good can possibly come from waiting?
First of all, waiting on the Lord acknowledges God’s sovereignty. It recognizes that He is in control of everything—from the orbiting of the planets, to the rule of world governments, to the most specific and intimate details of life. His sovereignty reminds me that nothing happens without first passing through His fingers, and that no situation I face surprises Him in the least. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours…and you are exalted as head above all” (I Chronicles 29:11). My waiting puts God in His rightful place—as sovereign Lord over everything, including my specific situation.
Secondly, waiting on the Lord demands my humility. Waiting places me in a posture of submission, in order that I might receive from Him. Humility is the cry of my heart that says, “I am utterly dependent on You, I am sustained by You, I am subject first to Your moving in order that I may then move.” It is the letting go of self-reliance, to be filled with His presence. I wait, because I admit that I do not know which way to go if left to my own devices.
Furthermore, waiting on the Lord requires my trust. I won’t naturally wait on someone whom I ultimately don’t think will come through. But the waiting of which David speaks—one that emboldens the heart to “be strong” and “take courage”—means that I surrender my circumstance to the Father, trusting that His will for my life will produce far greater rewards than I could even dream up (I Corinthians 2:9).
And, finally, waiting on the Lord encourages my faith. David says he “believes” that he
will see the goodness of the Lord. Surely, David could not know for certain the outcome of his terrible, temporary condition. But praise God that faith doesn’t live in the temporal; it abides in the eternal. Faith is the hope that one day, no matter my earthly struggle, I will see the Lord face to face, being resurrected, redeemed and whole; it is the evidence that, while I cannot always understand what God is doing in the midst of my everyday chaos, I know He is always working for my good and for His glory. Waiting produces faith, and faith has that wonderful ability to shift my focus away from the uncontrollable disorder around me, and upward toward His divine will.
And so, Lord, we wait with hopeful expectancy for You to move in our circumstances, by Your will, in accordance to Your prefect time. We thank you that biblical waiting does not mean passivity on our part, but that you invite us to have emboldened and courageous faith, trusting that You alone are sovereign, and that we, like David, will one day look upon Your goodness in the land of the living.
– Lauren Aey