Wait for the Lord
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). As often as I’ve read and meditated upon this verse, I have often wondered if the psalmist who wrote these words had lived life in the “real” world. Yet, David was the one who wrote these poignant words. My husband Mark and I have been singing duets together since we were fourteen years old. I guess you would call us high school sweethearts. Except for the year that Mark preceded me to Taylor University, we have always been together. When we graduated from college, Mark and I turned down jobs that would have required extensive times of separation and travel because we decided we needed to focus on building our marriage and serving God together. Fast forward 23 years and consider the shock it was to suddenly be apart four out of the seven days each week as Mark accepted a job that included considerable travel. Suddenly, the life we had known changed dramatically. As our family dynamics changed and Mark’s participation in church responsibilities was affected, I begged God to allow Mark to find another job — one that would not be built around a model of travel.
That was four years ago, and since that time I have often meditated upon the words in Psalm 27:14, the final verse of that chapter. Over the years, God has directed me to look at the whole Psalm and then, and only then, would I be able to confidently cling to the final verse. Psalm 27:1 begins with “The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid?” Thus began my journey with God through the rest of Psalm 27. In verse 4, the psalmist clearly states what my purpose is on earth: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in His temple.” I’m not a Bible scholar, but when a word is repeated in a verse or chapter (or book!) in Scripture, God is telling me to be attentive to that word. God was calling me to seek Him so that “in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling; He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock” (v. 5).
Two years into my time of waiting, Mark was sent on an extended contract to Florida, and I spiraled downward into a time of depression. During that time, I felt that God was not hearing me, yet I knew in my spirit that He never turned away from me. Psalm 27:8 spoke further to me: “My heart says of you, ‘Seek His face!’ Your face, Lord, I will seek.” And then David wrote a prayer that I pray each day in verse 11: “Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.” (Our oppressors will not always be people; they can be emotional issues, physical issues, temptations of the flesh, or a myriad of other “things” that take our eyes off God.) It wasn’t a quick fix, but whether I felt like it or not, I had to take my eyes off of my “oppressors” and seek God.
In a couple of weeks, Mark will start a job that no longer requires constant travel. If I had known four years ago that God’s “wait” would be for that amount of time, I would have balked. However, God, in His goodness, didn’t reveal that to me; instead He told me to “seek” Him. As I waited and sought after Him, He gave me the strength and He encouraged my heart even in the darkest of days. Are you in the midst of a “wait for the Lord” time in your life? I encourage you to read Psalm 27 and seek God as you wait for Him — He is faithful, in His time and in His perfect way!
by Cindy Bates, Director of Connections Ministries