This morning I woke early, picked up my prayer journal laying on the floor next to my bed, and turned to the next clean page to write:
“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice. In the morning, O LORD, I lay my requests at your feet and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3
The requests are written and they look exactly like the prayers of yesterday. Exactly the same. As far as I can see, my situation is not any different today than it was yesterday. My prayer journal……it sounds a bit like a broken record. My requests are given. The answers have not come……..so I request again. And again. And again.
It’s the waiting period. I’ve been here before. I know this spot. I’ve seen others in this spot too, and I’ve looked them in the eyes and have said this, “Someday this will be over. The answers will come, and when they do, this waiting time will be priceless.” I’m remembering the words that have come out of my mouth, and recounting again why I said such a thing.
What is it about the waiting periods (the long time of questions with no answers, discomfort, and desperation) endured before that have become priceless to me?
In “wait” times I am humbled, and my agenda suddenly means nothing. It becomes easier to discern what is important and what just isn’t. I see others differently and with more empathy……..for aren’t we all really waiting on something since this life on earth is broken and the need for God and His peace is placed within us. I listen more in my times of waiting mainly because I am desperate for answers, but in that process God tells me deeper truths more precious than the answers I seek. His Word becomes my feast and the daily bread I truly can not live without. This Word falls new and fresh, and the same stories I’ve heard for years come alive in ways I haven’t seen before. This delights me to no end. In waiting God moves what I know in my head about who He is to my heart and then all the way to the marrow of my bones and makes my structure stronger than before. He embeds truth in the deep places. It is a bit of a surgery time, I suppose: a being still, a slicing, a rebuilding of a frame, a placing what is true in the core of my being. I learn that His mercies are new every morning and that while my requests may be the same, I come to know Him as Sustainer. I am not destroyed…..I am held. Someday the answers will come, and God will take his arms holding me ever so tightly and set me down to run where He has prepared. When I run, I will not run as one with atrophied muscles like someone just released from a cast. I’ve been held by the Lord, and I will be stronger for while I waited, He was doing the miraculous…….again. Yes, this waiting time is priceless.
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.