When Waiting Is Hard
"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
Our hurry up, need it, gotta-have-it-now culture often makes us feel there's something wrong with waiting and that we shouldn't have to. Within seconds we can order a cute blouse from a trendy store, Skype with a friend across the country and text our husband a list of groceries to pick up on the way home. No wonder waiting can be hard to do.
David, the author of today's key verse, was no stranger to waiting and knew its difficulties full well. Out of nowhere, Samuel showed up at his home to anoint the next king of Israel, who was to be chosen from David's family. Only one of Jesse's sons would be anointed as God's chosen king for His beloved Israel. The son elected was David.
Scripture tells us the Spirit of God rushed over David and was with him the remainder of his days (1 Samuel 16:13 ESV). With such an anointing, we might expect David to run to the throne. But the only running David did was back to the pasture and his job as shepherd. Thus his wait began.
In the wait, God prepared David to be king. The only vocation David knew was shepherding. He did not know the ins and outs of kingly protocol or have the support of the people or armies. Instead of taking the position he was promised, David waited for God to move him from the pasture to the palace.
Waiting in the present is beneficial to our future. This is something David learned, along with many other lessons that we can find hope in during the difficulty of waiting.
1. Even though we are anointed and appointed we may still have to wait. David waited fifteen years to be king of Judah and even longer to be king of all Israel.
2. God's ways are not our ways; His thoughts are not our thoughts. After being anointed and appointed David was called to serve Saul, the king who was sitting on "his" throne.
3. God doesn't waste time ... He redeems it. The time of waiting will be used to prosper us in each season of life.
4. If we allow it, our waiting will bring us an intimate knowledge of the Savior that we would not otherwise have. Most of David's beautiful and poetic psalms were written while in caves, caverns and the wilderness, waiting on God.
5. God doesn't ignore the cries of His children. David cried, and at times begged God for help, invention and defense. God never let David down. He did eventually take the throne, didn't he?
6. Our waiting has a purpose for someone other than ourselves. Just think of how rich our lives are today because of the wait David endured. We have the comfort, compassion, hope and healing of his amazing poetry.
What awesome instructions David's life gives for waiting! Waiting is less difficult and the future is brighter when we let God do His work in our waiting season. When we let our guard and defenses down He proves Himself faithful to bring His plans for our lives to fullness.
Dear Lord, help me wait. Help me wait well. I want to be still and allow You to bring Your plan in my life to its fullness. I can't do this without You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Read more about David's life starting in 1 Samuel 16.
What is your first response to waiting? Do you draw closer to or pull away from God when you're waiting?
Write down what God taught you through this devotion on waiting.
Psalm 27:4, "One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple." (NIV 1984)
Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV 1984)
Lamentations 3:24, "I say to myself, 'The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'" (NIV 1984)