The Discipline Of Waiting – Sunday Thought For The Day
The following was written for January 26, 2014, Our Daily Bread by: David H. Roper.
Waiting is hard. We wait in grocery lines, in traffic, in the doctor’s office. We twiddle our thumbs, stifle our yawns, and fret inwardly in frustration. On another level, we wait for a letter that doesn’t come, for a prodigal child to return, or for a spouse to change. We wait for a child we can hold in our arms. We wait for our heart’s desire.
In Psalm 40, David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord.” The original language here suggests that David “waited and waited and waited” for God to answer his prayer. Yet as he looks back at this time of delay, he praises God. As a result, David says, God “put a new song . . . a hymn of praise” in his heart (40:3 niv).
“What a chapter can be written of God’s delays!” said F. B. Meyer. “It is the mystery of educating human spirits to the finest temper of which they are capable.” Through the discipline of waiting, we can develop the quieter virtues—submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, persistence in well-doing—virtues that take the longest to learn.
What do we do when God seems to withhold our heart’s desire? He is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to accept the delay with joy and to see it as an opportunity to develop these virtues—and to praise Him.
Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still. —Pollard
Waiting for God is never a waste of time.
When David wrote this psalm, he had been through some pretty tough times that were brought about by both his own sins and by the actions of his enemies (vv.2,12,14). David wrote of how he struggled to trust God (vv.11-17), even as he persisted in prayer for God’s help and waited patiently for God’s deliverance (vv.1-5). Despite the prolonged and uncertain waiting (vv.13,17), David testified that God hears and answers prayers and is worthy of our trust (vv.1-4) and called on the congregation to join him in praising God (vv.5,9-10,16). Perseverance in prayer, patient waiting, and unwavering trust is the consistent call and exhortation of the psalmists (Pss. 25:1-2; 27:13-14; 33:20-22; 37:7; 62:1).
READ: Psalm 40:1-3
40 I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here