Tapping a foot, leg bouncing, chair rocking, drumming fingers, restless fidgeting, pacing the floor, sweeping scrolls through social media, flipping through pages without reading text, and over-dramatic sighs.
Have you ever done any of these while waiting? Are these the things that someone who is steadily waiting would do?
When we experience any type or struggle or strain in life it is easy to be more of a wobbly wait-er than a steady one.
I tend to be a patience wait-er when I expect to wait, when I know its coming, when I prepare in advance. I’m usually the one in the doctors office with a book or writing cards that I have stashed in my purse. Waiting through those short periods.
Unfortunately, those are not the worst waits that life throws our way.
The unexpected struggles. The life altering sufferings. The seemingly endless line of let downs. The uncertain outcomes. The loss, the grief, the complication, the brokenness, the sin, the failures, the storms, the sickness, and the saddest sorrows.
Wouldn’t we like to be able to wait steadily, especially through the struggles and the strife that is bound to come? I wish we could face trials and tribulations with a steadfastness and solid foundation, not thrown and spun about in every direction over-saturated in uneasy emotions.
When I say, “I wish I could be more steady in my waiting,” what do my words reveal about where I have placed my hope? What am I relying on to steady myself?
I’m prone to frustration, weariness, escalating emotions, and being dashed by disappointments. Yikes! No wonder why I have a problem. If my hope is on me, myself, and I there are bound to be issues. I’m barely stable on my absolute best days.
“Put your hope in the Lord.
Travel steadily along his path.”
Psalm 37:34a (NLT)
This is a verse that I have been writing on sticky notes and posting all over my world.
I’m so quick to jump to the second sentence, “Travel steadily along his path.” YES!!! That is what I want.
Oh, do I have visions about what traveling steadily looks like. I picture blue skies, gentle breezes, warm sunshine, fields of daisies, fellowship of kindred spirits, unobstructed progress that flows, a great soundtrack for the journey, safety for my family, and salty snacks that don’t become stuffing on my stomach.
But then the storms come, the winds blow, the temperature drops, the flowers lose their petals, I encounter people who can’t seem to understand a word coming out of my mouth, I run into obstacles, road blocks pop up, there’s noise but not music, someone gets hurt or passes away, and every bite I put in my mouth accumulates on my waistline.
All of these things, any of these things, they make me want to quit or run far away from the path that I am on. I spin and wobble until I fall against the ground with great force. Getting up and going on from that point seems impossible, let alone steadily striding along. I can wash out my own path by the tears I cry in my wounded state.
It’s why the first part of the verse is so important, “Put your hope in the Lord.”
Put our hope in the Lord. All of it.
When the storms come, put our hope in the Lord. When the winds blow, put our hope in the Lord. When there is conflict, put our hope in the Lord. When there are delays, put our hope in the Lord. When there are obstacles, put our hope in the Lord. When there are hurts, put our hope in the Lord. When there is death, put our hope in the Lord.
The Lord will be our strength, our footing, and our stability. He is the One who can help us wait steadily through all that is to come and to help us travel through every one of the days of our lives.
Live it Out
My dear reader, these words are NOT easy to live out. I do not know what it is like to experience the struggles that you have faced or that you are working through right now.
I have felt the cold dark hopelessness of painful nights crying desperately that the problems in my life would come to resolution & just go away, that breakthrough would come miraculously. I have been blind sided by unexpected diagnosis, unanticipated expenses, breakdowns, breakups, failures, and accidents of all sorts.
I would love to have an easy solution for us all, but I don’t.
Sometimes putting our hope in the Lord is going to happen through hyperventilating sobs and snot lying on the floor because weight of circumstances, the heaviness of the question why, brought us to the point of collapse. When we have come to the end of ourselves, our strength, our courage, and we have nothing left.
Other days we will confidently place our hope in the Lord, shoulder that cross, and carry on in ways that surprise even ourselves. When we are following the Shepherd, with the help of the Spirit, seeing things that leave us in awe and wonder.
Then there will be all the in between days where we need to remind ourselves to be intentional about placing our hope in the Lord because its easy to overlook the ways we are relying on ourselves as we are busy pursuing our own purposes.
How steady are you right now…in your circumstances, in the waiting, in the struggles?
Take a good look at where your hope is at? If you are not sure, look at what you are relying on? Who are you expecting to provide? Who do you want to solve the problems? Is it you? Is it a project? A job? A paycheck? A spouse? A boss? A friend? Or the Lord?
What do you need to do to remind yourself to hope in the Lord?
Is it reading scripture and committing it memory? Is it serving others? Is it fellowship with believers? Is it time in prayer to communicate the good, bad, joyful, and ugly with the Lord? Is it unrestrained worship, letting words & music help lift what you can not carry?
Take those steps the Lord is prompting you to take. Let Him lead you into a steadiness for your travels.
Pray Through It
Beloved Lord, oh to be able to wait steadily through the struggles! It sounds so nice, but sometimes it feels so impossible Lord. But You are a God who lives outside of the constraints we are bound by. Time, provision, insight, wisdom, knowledge, love, hope, joy, in all these You are eternal.
We develop habits and behaviors built upon self reliance, with a foundation of hope in ourselves. A foundation that breaks under pressure, that shifts under strain, and cracks under the circumstances of our days. Lord, help us to see and identify the root of our unsteadiness.
Please help us to place our hope in You, fully without reservation. May we feel the steadiness to travel along our paths. In spite of obstacles, hurts, loss, pain, frustration, conflict, or storms. Even if we can’t understand why or are kept waiting without answer, may we have a peace in You and Your presence in our lives.
Lord, in the darkest, coldest moments of heaviness, please reveal Yourself as good, as loving, as generous, as compassionate, and all of the immaculate traits that make You the One true God.
In the name of Jesus, who waited with steadiness through the greatest sufferings to bring us a way to place our hope in the Lord, amen.