by Rachael Adams
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.”Psalm 40:1-2
What are you waiting for? Perhaps you are waiting for a call back from the doctor, a positive line on your pregnancy test, relief from financial strain, a new job opportunity, restoration in your marriage, a prodigal to come home, the fulfillment of a dream, or some other answer to the cry of your heart.
Often in these situations, we do all we know to do, and then we are simply left to wait. It’s hard surrendering this control, isn’t it? When circumstances and people don’t function on our timelines and within our preferences, it’s easy to get impatient and frustrated. And yet, we can hold on to the hope that there is value and purpose in our waiting.
In Psalm 40, David reveals that he too was familiar with waiting. He begins his song by telling us that he knows what it’s like to wait on the Lord. David likened his distress to a slimy pit of mud and mire, yet despite his dismal circumstances, he waited patiently for the Lord’s rescue.
In these verses, we don’t know how long David had to wait, but we do learn that he received benefits from his waiting. He proclaims that God lifted him out of his despair, set his feet on a rock, gave him a firm place to stand, and put a new song of praise in his mouth. Could similar benefits be what we will receive in our own slimy pit of waiting?
Like us, I imagine David would have preferred instantaneous answers and relief. However, if God had granted that request immediately, would he have experienced such praiseworthy blessings? Would he have developed the character traits of perseverance, strength, trust, and surrender? Friends, our waiting is not passive or purposeless. It’s not a sitting-doing-nothing kind of waiting but an expectancy for God to move on our behalf. It allows us to be fully dependent on the Lord, gives Him all the glory, and produces something valuable in us.
While there are certainly times God is telling us to be still, I don’t believe He desires us to idly endure everything thrown our way as we wait to go to heaven. Jesus didn’t live that way. He didn’t sit back and go through life passively or aimlessly. Instead, He brought hope to everyone, everywhere He went. Then He commissioned us to do the very same thing, and He gave us the Holy Spirit to enable us to do it.
This should be our mindset as well while we wait—actively leading people to the hope we have found in God so, together, we can patiently await His second return. Because ultimately, that is what we are all patiently waiting for.
Did you know God waits patiently, too? Peter tells us that “the Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). In God’s loving kindness, He waits in hope to redeem us all for eternity.
Until that glorious day, I pray we don’t give up hope. May we wait patiently for God’s will to unfold, placing our confidence in His goodness, timing, and wisdom. I have a feeling it all will be well worth the wait.
Rachael Adams is the author of A Little Goes a Long Way: 52 Days to a Significant Life and the host of The Love Offering podcast. She and her husband, Bryan, run a family business and farm in Kentucky with their two children, Will and Kate, and two doodle dogs. Her work has been featured on Crosswalk, iBelieve, Today Parenting, and YouVersion. Rachael would love to hear how you’ve seen God take your little a long way. Connect with her by visiting rachaelkadams.com, by searching @rachaeladamsauthor on social media, and by tuning in to The Love Offering podcast every Tuesday on your favorite listening platform.