Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off. Psalm 37:34
In the midst of desert experiences, the call to wait on the Lord can sound hollow. I want to know how long suffering is going to last? King David doesn’t throw out this challenge without personal experience. He had to wait over a decade to inherit his kingdom and had to also wait to see God’s purposes come to pass against his enemies.
James calls me to remember the prophets. As an example of suffering and patience, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. James 5:10 Abraham received a promise but he never saw it fulfilled in his lifetime. Knowing that, would I ever say, “What a fool!” Instead, his faith inspires me. He believed that endurance would yield a nation, even if on the other side of his own death.
What about a parent who prays for a lifetime for the spiritual return of a child? Fifty years of praying amidst little encouragement can appear to be futile. Yet, when that child returns to God, yet when that child comes to Christ, would they say that their patience in prayer was wasted?
While some, by nature, are more patient than others, this message still grates against our soulish ways. I can force myself to wait on the Lord for a month or two but when my internal resources are tapped out, waiting begins to wear me down. My ache for relief tempts me to rise up and do something. My only sustaining power comes from an elaborate root system. I am to be the tree in Psalm One; the one who is fruitful in any season because I’m planted by streams of the One who said He is Living Water. I live on His promises because I know that He never lies to make me feel better.
Your rains nourish me today and my roots soak in Your presence. I patiently stand tall, my foliage full and green, as I wait for a breakthrough. Give me the grace to offer shade to others who need to rest beneath Your branches. Amen