Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, January 11

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in his word I hope;
My soul waits for the Lord
More than watchmen for the morning
More than watchmen for the morning.
—Psalm 130:5-6

What does it mean to wait for the Lord? We all know what it is like to wait, and not just for things like airplanes or traffic signals. It seems to me that one of the hardest waiting periods is when we wait for medical reports, for ourselves or for people we love. When I first wrote this, I was waiting for a medical report myself, so I had the perspective of real anxiety, not just anxiety as a concept. 

I was not waiting very well. My anxiety, while perfectly natural, showed me that I was waiting for the report from the doctor, not for the Lord! Once told that I had a minor problem, my anxiety vanished. I was very very thankful to God, because I had felt God’s presence with me through this experience, but I realized that I needed to develop a deeper sense of waiting for the Lord in my daily life.

This psalmist expresses waiting as longing, almost as aching. The deep longing is not for a different condition, but for a powerful awareness of God’s loving presence in the midst of waiting. That is what I want to change about the quality of my waiting: that I ask first to realize that God is with me, has been all along, and then ask for a good report, or good result, or whatever I am worried about. 

It is not an easy shift, but it is one I want to make, and make consciously, beginning now.

Dear Lord, help me to still my anxious thoughts and to seek YOU before anything else. Thank you for the wondrous gift of your indwelling spirit; thank you for the peace that your presence gives, a peace that passes all understanding, and is very, very real. Amen.