For Lord’s Day, January 20, 2013
What’s the use in waiting? Something in particular stood out to me in Elder Huffmaster’s leading of our Psalm 27 devotion last Lord’s Day morning which addresses that question.
The last verse (vs. 14) reads: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Besides God’s Sovereignty working out His Providence, we have learned a few other sub themes going through the book of Genesis. One sub theme according to Pastor David Hall in the video series we just finished in our Men’s Study (Masculine Spiritual Leadership) is how men keep abdicating their God-given leadership roles, with very sad consequences on their covenant families. But another very obvious sub theme is the Christian’s call to wait and wait and wait. So often, the waiting leads to the timing of the solution or blessing having to be so obviously come from God alone so that He gets all the glory.
Elder Huffmaster said of Psalm 27:14 something like this: “You won’t grow if you don’t wait.” We are called to wait on the LORD twice in this short verse. What does the waiting require of us? Good courage. So there is a certain kind of waiting we are called to do: the kind that doesn’t worry, but rests in the Lord through trusting and acting on His Word (Look to our Shorter Catechism 90 and its Bible verse for an explanation of how to do this, which we study in tomorrow night’s teaching time).
But what does that kind of waiting produce in us? A strengthened heart. That’s what I think Elder Huffmaster was getting at. If we wait on the Lord with good courage, our hearts will be strengthened and transformed. When God calls us to wait on things, and we do so in a Biblically responsible way, we grow personally inside. Like the seed below the surface with all kinds of things changing and rooting before it will sprout up and show its results to the world (we come out more like an Oak, and less like a weed). In the waiting, we mature. Isn’t this what we do see in all the Patriarchs? Even as they wait through God’s discipline (such as Jacob’s 20 years in Padan-Aram?). They become different kind of people. Better, more spiritual, more moral people. People who learn to trust and obey God. And their covenant families benefit from the changes.
So here’s what really struck me to have on my heart when called by God to wait. I will say to myself, “Here’s an opportunity to grow.” An opportunity for me, inside, to become a better man, closer to Christ, regardless of, or maybe because of, all going on around me on the outside and how I deal with it within. Growth is always good. Especially when it is strengthening your heart. Surely, the growth is not only strengthening in resolve through the waiting, but in character. In the waiting, God makes us more like Him. We better reflect His image. We glorify Him more. And in the waiting and the results of waiting, we learn to count our blessings and enjoy God. This makes for a more abundant life that Christ offers us in the here and now.
You will see in tomorrow’s message that waiting does not mean no movement. Waiting is stillness, but not stagnation. I’ll let you wait for the rest of that story …
Until then, be still and know the Lord is God (Psalm 46:10) and enjoy Him there.
PS: Here’s a song by one of my favorite bands that I’ve really been enjoying with the thoughts above (Big Tent Revival, “Faith of a Little Seed”): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JX-PslPe5Xg
I also remembered this lovely song, “In the Waiting”, by Gianna Jessen (an abortion survivor Jennifer and I saw perform in Pittsburgh at a pregnancy care center fundraiser): http://worship.higherpraise.com/index.php?g2_itemId=2583