I wait for the Lord; my soul waits for Him; in His Word is my hope. My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130: 4-5
We, who live in a fast past world are learning a bit about waiting these days. I am learning a bit more about waiting, and it is not easy. My family does my grocery shopping when they can go to the grocery after work. I could go during the day when I would like to go, but no, I must wait until they can go for me during this concern over exposure to Covid 19,since I am more at risk than they are for coronavirus. All of our world has slowed down since stores and restaurants are closed for in-house business. Waiting is something we must relearn.
I remember as a teenager thinking that I would never be old enough to drive. It was a long wait. I had to wait until I was sixteen before I could date. That was another long wait. Then I got my driver’s license, and the big waiting period of my teen years were over. Freedom at last! I thought I could pretty well go when I pleased (of course at my parent’s discretion), and somewhere along the way I ceased to have patience because I did not have to wait for too many things. So maybe it is true that as we age we must relearning how to wait. If anything good comes from this pandemic it will be that it is teaching me again the value of waiting.
Part of our Christian maturity involves learning to wait. We ought to be confident not so much about our chances for a rosy outcome, or about exactly where, when and how God will act, but confident that He will act in God’s time. We wait in hope even while we “cry out of the depths” to God. The alternative to waiting on God is to lose hope and to spiral into despair. Winter will not last forever; spring is coming. Lenten darkness, repentance and sorrow have their rightful place with us, but Easter resurrection is our destiny. However painful our current circumstances, and however agonizing our honest questions—why we must endure pandemics like the corona virus, a job loss, wayward children, financial disaster, chronic sickness—
As we learn to wait our Christian faith teaches us that God in Christ will conquer and transform even the ultimate enemy death. For now, we must wait, and confidently “cast every anxiety upon him, because he cares for us” (1 Peter 5:7). For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:15–16).
- Is waiting difficult for you? In what ways are you learning to wait on God.
- What other lessons of value can we learn from the COVID-19 pandemic?
- Where else do we see God teaching people in the Bible to wait?
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.