Here’s a devo I wrote for the Upper Room‘s 2010 Disciplines book.
Sitting in a “waiting” room mindlessly thumbing through old magazines as you wait for the nurse to call out the name of your sick child. The numbness of waiting for test results that may change your life—or shorten it. Waiting for a teenager to come home—and he’s an hour late. Waiting years for God to bring a prodigal child home.
We’re not alone in our struggles with waiting. Psalm 4 is categorized as an “individual lament,” which make up a full one-third of the book’s content.
Psalmists cry out, “Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble” (69:17), “They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—to the LORD, but he did not answer” (Psalm 18:41), “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Psalm 22:1).
Commentators suggest Psalms 3 and 4 are written against the background of Absolom’s rebellion against his father David as well as betrayal of some of David?s former supporters who have turned his “glory into shame”?
But the psalmist provides hope and some practical things to do while we wait:
1. Know that the Lord has set us apart as his own
2. Search your heart for any anger or sin related to this waiting period
3. In your anger—or frustration—do not sin
4. Be silent and listen for God’s encouragement and instruction
5. Trust in the Lord
While David is in the midst of conflict, while he is waiting for God to act, he is confident that one day, his heart will be filled with “greater joy.” He will “lie down and sleep in peace,” “For you alone, O LORD make me dwell in safety.”
Prayer: Father, remind us that we are yours and help us to trust in you as we wait for you to act. Help us, by faith, to look forward to a future with “greater joy.”
Copyright © 2010 James N. Watkins