Do you ever come to the place in life where you’ve trusted God and you feel like you are where you need to be, but things don’t seem to be going the way you envisioned? Problems arise and stress threatens to soar out of control? You question whether or not you heard God right in the first place. “Was this really the job He had for me? Was I really supposed to be in charge of this event? Did He really want me to minister to people in this way?” “If it is where I am supposed to be, then why are all these obstacles popping up?”
I came across a verse tonight that gives us direction. It gives us a map to follow and gives us hope. “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
Waiting is a difficult thing for most people. We live a society where instant gratification is a part of our daily lives. We have appliances and gadgets that make our life easier and more convenient, we have access to answer almost any question we have with the click of a button, we can walk to our refrigerator and have our stomachs filled… The list goes on and on. We don’t want to have to wait. We want things to happen NOW!!
A few years ago my daughter went through some life-changing neurological issues. Prior to that time, I was the kind of person that wanted immediate answers. I had to KNOW. Patience wasn’t part of who I was. There had to be an answer for everything and I wanted it yesterday. I remember talking to a good friend that I had grown up with, who had become a neurologist. He said to me, “Tammy, you will never know why this happened or what caused it”. I learned that I didn’t have to know things immediately and that I may not know some things at all. I had to surrender what it was that I thought brought me peace – and that was answers. I guess it came down to the realization that I really had no control over any of it. God had and continues to have the situation with my daughter and my life under control. My knowing everything isn’t realistic or necessary. I just have to trust.
Sometimes answers are clear, come quickly and issues are resolved. At other times things are murky, are slow in coming and it may feel that they will never be resolved. This passage tells us we must wait, be strong and take courage. Some of the synonyms for “wait” are – sit tight, anticipate, look forward, expect, be ready. When we wait on someone we are on the look out. We look out the window or stand on the street in anticipation of their arrival. We don’t make other plans or take off in another direction. We stay put and look forward to them showing up. If things don’t happen as quickly as we want them to, we can and do become impatient. The Psalmist must have become impatient waiting, because not only once, but twice, he tells us that we must “wait for the Lord.” He wanted to be sure we understood that answers may not always be immediate and that waiting would be necessary.
In addition, the passage states that we must “be strong”. Strength is defined as being able to withstand great force or pressure. I believe that true strength comes from the Lord. I know there are times I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances. I don’t have the strength to overcome and find complete peace, but God does. When I focus on Him, a calmness comes and replaces my anxiety. My weakness is replaced with His strength.
The passage also tells us to “take courage”. I like what the following says about courage. “Courage is what makes someone capable of facing extreme difficulty without retreating. It implies not only bravery and a dauntless spirit but the ability to endure in times of adversity.” Difficulty and adversity will play a role in our lives as long as we are here on this earth. Like strength, our courage must come from the Lord. He provides what we need, when we need it.
So I guess the bottom line is that even when we experience that overwhelming feeling of “am I in the right place, doing what I’m supposed to be doing” or stress begins to arise with each new obstacle that finds its way into our situations, we must remember to wait patiently for His answer with the strength and courage He provides. He will be faithful in revealing His purpose, in preparing the way and providing what we need.