For I am waiting for you, O Lord. You must answer for me, O Lord my God.Psalm 38:15 (NLT)
Waiting. It is perhaps the hardest thing to do in the world today. We run into trouble and make a phone call to technical support and get put on hold. Yippee! (Said no one, ever!) We go to an amusement park and realize that the line for our favorite ride is several hours long. Woohoo! (Not!) We live out in the middle of nowhere and have slow internet, so that five megabyte file takes an hour to download. Awesome! (Not really) Waiting is not something we do well.
We live in a society today that demands instant gratification. For example, rather than going to the library to look up something about a research project I’m doing, I can simply just ask my phone a question and Google returns the information I’m looking for. Or, we used to have to go to the video store to rent the latest VHS, (It’s a video tape for you young whipper snappers) or DVD. Now, we just open up our app for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or a thousand other different streaming services. We don’t have to wait on much in life anymore.
Yet, waiting is a spiritual discipline. What is a “spiritual discipline?” It is something that God does in our life to help train our faith and grow it stronger. (In yesterday’s devotional we talked about going through trials as a spiritual discipline.) So, what does waiting have to do with strengthening our faith? Everything.
King David, who wrote this particular Psalm, captures this concept perfectly as he states: “For I am waiting for you, O Lord.” David was no stranger to instant gratification. As king, he could snap his fingers and get his desires met. Yet, he realizes that when it comes to God, we aren’t in charge. We don’t get to call the shots. Our lives belong to God. He calls the shots.
Waiting reminds us of how our relationship with God works. He’s not a magic genie or butler who caters to our every whim. He is God of the universe. We serve Him. He is in charge, not us. He knows that the best routes in life often take time to travel. He alone can see the dangers and pitfalls ahead, so often times reroutes us to take the long way around. Waiting develops trust. Instant gratification does not.
Today, and every day, practice patience. It’s OK, beneficial even, to wait upon the Lord.