“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.”
Psalm 40:1 (NIV)
Perhaps you have been tempted to say, “Lord give me patience—and give it to me now!” If only it were that easy. We would like people to be patient with us, but are we patient with others? We can witness this when people are in line at the Post Office, the Doctors, at the check-out in a supermarket or at a bus stop. We twiddle our thumbs, walk back and forth and fret inwardly in frustration, sometimes to the point of getting angry.
King David had good reason to be impatient, but notice how David handled the situation. In Psalm 40:3, David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord.” The original language here suggests that David ‘waited and waited and waited’ for God to answer his prayer. Yet, as he looks back at this time of delay, what did David do? David praised the Lord. As a result, David says, God “put a new song…a hymn of praise” in his heart (verse 3).
What do we do when God seems to withhold our heart’s desire? He is able to help us to love and trust Him enough to accept the delay with joy and to see it as an opportunity to develop these virtues and to praise him. 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT) tells us, “The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent.”
I think of the words from a hymn by Jim Reeves:
Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!
Thou are the potter, I am the clay;
Mold me and make me after thy will,
While I am WAITING, yielded and still.
Let’s remember that waiting on God is never a waste of time.
Dear Lord, thank you for being so patient with us, and help us to be patient with our fellow man. In Jesus name.
Study by Dennis Payne
Worldwide Church of God London
Mahatma Gandhi Hall
41 Fitzroy Square
LONDON W1T 6AQ
Local Congregational Contact:
Phone: 07958 386944