“Be strong and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD.”
The verse above is the last verse of Psalm 31 which is the psalm appointed for today’s service of Daily Morning Prayer. And, while encouraging, I think this verse describes one of the more difficult challenges that we as Christians face: remaining strong and continuing on with faith and courage while we wait for God to do what God will do.
We do not handle waiting very well. Increasingly we are impatient when we have to wait for much of anything. We have become accustomed to things like the VIP line at Disney, the expedited shipping option of Amazon.com, or the NTSB’s PreCheck program to get through the security lines faster at the airport. God does not have a VIP line, expedited shipping option or PreCheck. God has God’s time. And, God’s time does not always match up with our timeline for when and how God should act or be present in our lives.
This leaves us with three choices: 1) Be frustrated and upset that our prayers and petitions aren’t answered within our expectations; 2) stop believing that God will EVER answer those things for which our hearts cry out (or worse: that God just doesn’t exist at all); or 3) “Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD,” leaving up to our faith the love that God has for us, for all creation.
Option three is easy when things are going well in our lives…option three can be almost impossible when we are suffering–or worse, when someone we love dearly is hurt or suffering. But, in the end, being strong and taking courage that God will indeed do God’s will (even if that ends up not being what we wished, hoped for, prayed about), in God’s own time. Because God exists in and through and above our time God sees our past, present and future all as one whole, all of the moments of our lives connected together. What may take us years to understand about why and how God acted (or seemed not to act…as we expected or hoped) in our lives is no time at all for our God who is in all time and above all time.
The good news is that God DOES act; that God DOES love us…even when we are impatient, frustrated and exacerbated. God’s love is everlasting and in that our hearts should take abundant courage.
In Christ’s name,