This post was originally written October 17, 2009. While that season of waiting is over, I was encouraged in reading this post again. I hope it speaks to someone…
I’m in a season of waiting. I knew where I was going two years ago. My family and friends thought I was crazy. But when God calls you to something that seems crazy, you are able to move despite the doubt. But when you get to the season of waiting, those doubts that you ignored get louder and louder. You feel engulfed in a darkness, as if maybe you did make the wrong decision after all.
As I’ve been going through this waiting season, I’m desperately searching for God’s voice. I fell into this Psalm:
How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? […] Consider and answer me, O Lord my God…
David, Psalm 13
David’s heartbroken in this Psalm. He’s listening for direction from God, but feels forgotten. He can’t hear God’s voice and he can’t see God’s hand. He feels like he has to rely on himself, but that is bringing sorrow. When I read this chapter the first time, I imagined David screaming these words, shaking his fist at heaven. You know, with the rain pouring down his face, mud all around David. (CUE THUNDER!) In more recent readings of this chapter, however, I see him saying it more as I would say it right now; in a quiet tone, just more than a whisper, from a soul that is just defeated, deflated, and done.
When God gives us direction, we know where we’re going. We’re moving. We can hear His voice and see His hand. But we’re not supposed to move all the time. Sometimes, God wants us to wait for Him. Sometimes it is not about getting to that destination. Sometimes it is about getting to know God’s character.
Psalm 27 ends with a reminder to wait for God.
Wait for the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait on the Lord. (v. 14)
The word for “wait” in Hebrew is qâvâh (kaw-vaw). Its figurative definition is to expect, gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon). Waiting means expecting God to do something, but not rushing to do it ourselves. Waiting means that we look to God and patiently expect His voice, His hand, and His goodness to come to us again.
A good soldier waits for commands from his superior. He doesn’t rush to make the next move because he doesn’t see the Master Plan. He should wait for the directions to come from one who understands how his actions fit into everything, how what he does next will lead to the next set of actions, which all lead to a goal.
But waiting gets old after a while.
Hearing God’s silence is lonely.
Patiently expecting becomes tiring on the soul.
This is why you have to read Psalm 13 to the end. Psalm 13 concludes with an affirmation of God’s character and a reminder of why David should continue to trust in God:
But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because He has dealt bountifully with me.
Because he can’t see God’s hand or hear God’s voice, David has to recall that this God has saved him time and time again. He chose to ignore his feelings of abandonment and focuses on what he know is true about God; He is a good God. The literal definition of qâvâh is “to bind together, by twisting.” Maybe when we get into a season of waiting, we are being bound to God. We have to rely so much on our faith of what we know of God that our faith is binding us to Him.
So, as I wait on God, as I wait for the next set of directions, I am going to recall the goodness of God in my life. He has never failed me. He has never forsaken me. Though I can’t see His hand nor hear His voice, I know that He has a plan for my life and a reason for this waiting season. I am going to allow Him to bind me closer to Him.