I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5, NIV
I was working through various items to write about this week and had pretty much dismissed all of my ideas. The majority were too political as I’m sure you are up to your eyeballs with discussions of Tea, religion and war. Personally, I think those are all great topics but not always beneficial, or so my Editor says.
Then I remembered a quote from one of my preaching classes, “sometimes you just have to get out of the way.” Well today I will follow that advice and repost a devotional thought from my co-laborer in the vineyard Pastor Gary O’Shell of
of the Nazarene. The past two weeks have been emotionally and physically demanding and sometimes somebody else does a better job of speaking to the heart of what you are living. Dulles Family Life Church
Waiting is not something our flesh finds easy. Waiting in hope seems even more difficult, likely even impossible. Yet, this is exactly what the Father, in all situations of need, calls us to do. Why? How? Even more, just what does it mean to "wait in hope?"
Psalm 130:5 reads, "I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait. And in His Word I do hope." Maybe the first thing we need to do is come to a real understanding of what God means by calling upon us to wait on Him. In this Psalm the Hebrew word used for wait means "To wrap ourselves around Him." This isn't some passive, helpless response but one of action. As we wait upon Him, we entwine ourselves with Him, literally, become "wrapped up in Him."
I think the common thought concerning waiting upon God is that He is someplace far away from us, doing "God things" while we stand by, helpless, waiting for Him to do something, and subject to anxiety, stress, and frustration all the while. We wait, unsure that He will help, and maybe even unsure that He even desires to. Having hope in those kind of conditions is very hard, even impossible. It may be that we also need to understand more clearly what He means when He tells us to not only wait on Him, but to hope in Him as we wait.
Pastor and writer Dutch Sheets says in his book, “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again,” says, “The Old Testament word for hope means ‘cord.’ The root of the word means to “bind together by twisting. Hope connects. It braids us together with God.” Are we getting a picture here? I think most of our ideas about waiting upon Him and hoping in Him have as a picture, God standing in one place, and we in another, with a huge gap in between. We don't seem a part of His life, and for certain He seems to have little part in ours. We wait and hope in our own strength, and the result is a total lack of peace and assurance. We feel we have to plead with the Father for help that He seems determined to hold back. That will always be the case when we live with a great divide between ourselves and our daily reality, and the reality of Who He is.
His Word tells us that in Christ, He has freely given all we need to have life, so why do continue to approach Him as if He is constantly holding something back from us? As anyone who has ever been a part of a long distance relationship knows, it is very hard to really come to know someone that way. We can come to a surface knowledge, but to truly have and know intimacy, there needs to be a daily intertwining of lives, which can never take place from a distance.
It's no different as concerns us and the Father. We cannot know Him as long as that gap exists between us. Christ is the bridge between us, and the means to be able to not only come to Him, but to be able to wrap ourselves around Him, bind ourselves together in Him, to truly become one with Him. When that happens, we discover the true beauty of what it means to wait in hope. He's no longer a cold, distant deity who must be begged for favors, but a loving Father Who, because we have become such a part of Him, and He of us, instills such a deep peace and rest in us, that we are able to wait and hope not in the expectation of what He will give or do, but in the wonder of Who He is.
I think there's little doubt that you, like me, find yourself waiting upon Him in some area of your life today. How will you do that? From a distance, across a great divide, all the while seeing Him as a kind of blur, or up close, in intimacy, as you, we, respond to His call to wait upon Him in hope, and wrap ourselves up in Him, binding ourselves together in and with Him? No force or power can break the cord that comes about from such a joining.
Lord, whatever this day may bring, Your name be praised. Amen.