Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
IF ETERNITY IS IN OUR HEARTS, THAT MEANS WE HAVE A DESIRE THAT CAN’T BE FULFILLED RIGHT NOW. And if this desire is, as I believe, our deepest desire, then our lack of fulfillment may be grievously felt. Whatever our hearts most truly need, they need it now, and the very depth of our longing means that its unsatisfaction is painful. So the thought of waiting is, to many, an unwelcome thought.
Impatience is more of a problem than we like to admit. In its more trivial forms, it can be amusing, of course, but in more serious matters, impatience can be destructive to our spiritual lives. In a sense, impatience comes close to being the taproot of sin. It is a demanding attitude: it wants its own way and it wants it now. Impatience insists that everything be done on its own terms.
From that perspective, then, might it not be good for us to have to wait for some of the things we need — and maybe even the thing we need the most? Whatever bit of “demandingness” lingers in our hearts, any discipline that would help remove it would be to our advantage. It is not a coincidence that in Psalm 27 where David said, “Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (v.14), he also said, “Teach me Your way, O Lord” (v.11). It may be hard, but in waiting for the Lord’s salvation, we are taught virtues like trust and reverence.
If we are honest, our hearts often cry out, “How much longer, Lord? How much longer?” And if He were to speak to us personally and directly, He would surely say, “Be patient. You will get your heart’s desire. All in good time — yes, all in good time. But for now, I ask you to trust Me.” He is a Father who can be counted on to make all things beautiful, but He does so . . . in His time.
So we can heed the advice given to us in the Psalms and “wait on the Lord.” But our waiting is not just any waiting. If our faith is where it needs to be, our waiting can be a waiting of hope, and that makes all the difference in the world. “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I do hope” (Psalm 130:5). Confident that the end is going to be good, we can wait until the story is finished.
“Patience is the art of hoping” (Vauvenargues).