“Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!
Wait. Just a small word but it can stir up big emotions. These emotions can run the full gamut of human experiences as we more often than not wait.
For first time parent, the wait is filled with expectation and joy. For the newly engaged, the wait is filled with anticipation and excitement. For the deployed soldier’s family, the wait is filled with hope and fear. For the family in the surgical waiting room, the wait is filled with anxiety and optimism. For the family gathered at the hospice bedside, the wait is filled with sadness and relief.
Even in the small things in life, we usually don’t like to wait. These waits tend to test our patience, especially if we are in a hurry. Some of my pet peeves are slow moving traffic, more specifically the left hand turn lane. Another is sitting in the doctor’s office waiting for my name to be called, just so I can sit in a smaller room and wait again. And, of course, I always pick the slowest line at the grocery store. I tend to live by the mantra: Hurry up and wait!
Sometimes people don’t mind the wait if the thing or person they are waiting for is worth the wait. We see people all the time eagerly waiting, even camping out, for the latest Smartphone, the next big blockbuster movie, or to get that special item on black Friday. Some people in our town, or should I say K-Ville, even go to the extreme of camping out for weeks in the cold and elements just to get a ticket to go to a basketball game.
God knows our human nature. He knows we don’t like to wait. The psalmist David knows that too. In the above verse, he instructs us to “Wait on the LORD.” The NLT translation says, “Wait patiently for the LORD.” He then offers a word of encouragement to “be of good courage” with the promise that “He shall strengthen your heart.” This is followed by repeating, as if trying to calm our impatient heart, the admonition: “Wait, I say, on the LORD!”
The word for wait combines the idea of waiting with hope or lingering patiently and that of waiting eagerly and expectantly. It literally is describing a binding or twisting together like a rope. So as we wait on the LORD, we do so with both hopeful patience and expectant eagerness.
As a believer and a pastor, I have quoted this verse to myself many times over the years. Because I am impatient by nature, I have had to learn to wait with patience. This is especially true when it comes to waiting on or for the LORD. The thing I have learned is that when I wait on the LORD, He comes through in His timeframe.
As we minister to the people of our community, my prayer is that we will be a church of good courage. Also, that we will be a church that allows Jesus to strengthen our hearts. And that we will eagerly and expectantly wait with hope and patience for the LORD. And as we learn to do that, we can lead others to wait for the LORD as well. Because, He is well worth the wait.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.