Wait Patiently! Really?

Palm 27:13-14 (NLT)
Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living
Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.

Waiting. We are all put into a position of waiting at one time or another. Waiting in line, waiting for an answer, waiting for a friend, a call, a breakthrough, an end to one season, the beginning of another. The list goes on.

As followers of Jesus often we find ourselves waiting on God – to answer a prayer, to change a circumstance, to intervene, to do the work that only he can do. Our timing and His rarely seem in sync. And so we wait.

Waiting is one thing – but patiently? Did the Psalmist really need to add that word? Are we really to endure the waiting with patience? Patience implies that I am calm, that I have an inner peace, that I am trusting in the waiting. In the midst of a crisis, when things are not going well, when the potential outcomes produce anxiety or simply in the face of the unknown the Psalmist’s instruction is patience. There are times when this seems beyond my grasp.

The next phrase has always intrigued me, “Be brave and courageous.” Yes, it is difficult to wait patiently, but does waiting patiently really require one to be brave and courageous? Isn’t that a little extreme? Maybe not. Fear is often the companion that shows up in the waiting. We fear what could be, the what if and then Fear moves in and becomes a constant companion, an unwelcome guest. Sometimes an annoying presence keeping us in a state of unrest and other times larger than life, assaulting us in the most offensive way, creating complete upheaval. Feeding on doubt and discouragement Fear settles in for the duration.

The Psalmist understands the challenges of waiting and so gives the admonition to be brave and courageous. Fear will always be close by, but Bravery and Courage can be the companions that prevent the residing presence of Fear. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important.” What’s more important than our fears? Verse 13, “Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness…” Our confidence is in the goodness of God, His unconditional love for us and his promise to always be with us.

Waiting on the LORD is not passive. Waiting is full of activity - of trusting, of drawing close, to let go of whatever attachments are keeping us from walking in the way he calls us. Waiting requires us to be brave, full of courage, our eyes fixed on him, yielding ourselves to him so that in the moment, when the waiting is over, we see his goodness, even in the unexpected ways.

“Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.” Eph. 1:4 We are loved and chosen and we can trust in the goodness of God.

What are some of your favorite verses affirming your trust in God? Pray these passages to God as a declaration of your confidence Him. Be brave and courageous and we will see God’s goodness.

Linda Waldo
Spiritual Formation Pastor| New Covenant Church