Waiting upon the Lord is one of the most difficult disciplines of the Christian life. It’s always been this way. Psalms 13 and 35, for example, both begin with the heart’s cry “How long, Lord?” Yet, waiting upon the Lord—trusting in His perfect timing for all things—is one of the most beneficial stimulants to growth and the testing of our faith. Waiting is hard, but when the Lord graciously reveals His will by letting us get a glimpse of His remarkable providence our heart is lifted in praise and worship.
For example, when my wife and I pause to think of how many circumstances the Lord wove together to get our family to move from Wisconsin to Ohio, we marvel at His wisdom and goodness. Frankly, it is breathtaking to now understand (in part) how many ingredients He was mixing together and details He was putting in place over a period of many years. God is so determined to carry out His sovereign will that He mixes together both good and evil, blessing and hardship, true friendship and betrayal, depression and joy, our own wicked hearts and the sins of others, and on-and-on to weave a tapestry of grace that exceeds anything we could’ve ever controlled.
These things are on my mind this morning because the past few days I’ve been in Psalms 35 and 36, guided by Alec Motyer’s devotional translation and commentary in Psalms By the Day. In his concluding thoughts, Motyer summarizes a few lessons to be learned from these two divinely inspired songs of faith. One paragraph in particular challenged my mind and encouraged my heart.
“Right through Psalm 35 runs a very practical truth—what actually to do during a difficult stretch of life. It makes no difference whether the difficulty arises from people, circumstances or within our own natures, Psalm 35 has a program for us. Take first what lies at the heart of the psalm and is also probably the hardest piece of its guidance: wait patiently and trustfully for the Lord’s timing. It may seem prolonged to us, and it is permitted to cry our ‘How long?’ (verse 17), provided the cry is made in faith and not in criticism. Timetabling is one of the major ways our thoughts are not his thoughts (Isaiah 55:8), but he always knows exactly what he is doing; the when, where and how have been in his mind since all eternity; all is well.”
Therefore, whatever your heart longs for, know this: God is for you in Christ, and is working out His good and perfect will in such a way that will one day cause you to marvel at His surpassing grace. Rest in this encouraging truth.
You may also be helped by an earlier post, 6 Truths about Waiting on the Lord.