Courageously Wait

Psalm 27 ends with the admonition to “wait patiently for the Lord, be brave and courageous, yes, wait patiently on the Lord.”

What does that mean?

I normally don’t associate patience and waiting with much bravery.  How brave do you have to be to just sit there?  I suppose it depends on where you are sitting.

The Psalmist makes it clear that he is surrounded by trouble in the land of the living.  That there is no earth on place to remain safe except in God’s holy sanctuary.  So he sits and waits, with everything crashing in around him – with the enemies assailing the front door, he meditates.  “The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?  …Even when I am attacked, I will remain confident.”

What really caught me was what came next in the Psalm: “Hear me as I pray O Lord.  Be merciful and answer me!  My heart has heard you say, ‘Come and talk with me.’  And my heart responds, ‘Lord, I am coming.’” (v 7-8)

So much to consider and meditate on there.  The Psalmist is begging God to listen as he pleads for safety, and there is more than enough trouble to focus on.  But somehow he is able to quiet his mind, and heart in order to stopping running around protecting himself, and begin asking God to intervene.

In that space of stillness, with the enemy at the door of this space of peace, God is able to be heard: “Come and talk with me.”  An invitation.  A momentary returning to the garden where man and God may take a stroll together in the soft morning light.  Where all can be confessed, souls laid bare, tender words spoken, peace offered – between creation and Creator.  This is what the Psalmist desires “more than anything” (v 4) – “to delight in the Lord’s perfections and to meditate in his Temple.”

This Psalm is encouraging in that it gives hope to those of us being crushed on every side – with pressures from work, family, finances, and perhaps most of all – the very expectations we have of ourselves.  There are enemies at your gates.  They have surrounded the city and are attacking the sanctuary of your heart.  Is it possible that you have even joined their ranks?  That you have so many stresses and ticking time bombs in your world that it is simply easier or more fashionable in this world to join the cause of your own destruction that to fight back for your sanity and for the divine relationship you share with God?

Your life is in danger, yet you have a choice: run around gathering swords and weapons to fight back in your own exhausted strength, or quiet yourself, and call out to the Lord.  Hear him inviting you to “come and talk,” remembering that just as important as God’s invitation is your response.  Will you be able to courageously wait?

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*Want to learn more about a powerful practice in hearing God’s voice?  Click here.

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