A Scrap of Blessing Out of a Mountain of Pain?
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits.” Psalms 130:5 (NIV)
No smart answers. No trite phrases. No patronizing advice. No exhortations to pull yourself together—just a simple decision and a steady commitment to wait. In our instant culture, waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things for us to do, but it is one of the most important disciplines for us to learn.
When you are in deep pain there are no quick answers. This man prays “Out of the depths I call out to you” (v1), and he continues to fill his mind: “in his Word I put my hope” (v5). And then he waits!
Waiting is a wonderful expression of love
The length of time you wait is an expression of the value you place on the person you are waiting for. I had to get permission to tell you this, but I waited two years for the lady who is now my wife. She grabbed my heart the first time I saw her, the problem was she had the same effect on several others and I didn’t move fast enough. So I had to wait and hope and pray.
How long would you be prepared to wait for God? The Psalmist has no time limit: “All I can tell you is that I am in the depth of sorrow, and my soul has decided to wait for the Lord.” There isn’t a greater expression of love than that.
Waiting is sustained by hope
“My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for morning.” Psalms 130:6
Do you ever get up early enough to see the sunrise? It is breathtakingly beautiful, but what I find surprising is how quickly it happens—just a few minutes between the darkness of night and the dawn of day.
Think about a night watchman. He’s surrounded by darkness. He can’t see or feel the morning, but he knows that the morning is coming. The Psalmist says “That’s what it’s like in my soul. I don’t see any light and I’m not going to pretend that I do. I’m feeling pain that hasn’t gone away. But I know that the night will pass and morning will come, so I’m waiting for the Lord.”
You will not be disappointed
“O Israel put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.” Psalms 130:7
Is all this waiting so that God can salvage a scrap of blessing out of a mountain of pain? God’s answer is “full redemption.” Literally, the word is “plentiful.” Redemption is what God will bring out of the pain and brokenness of this fallen world.
We want everything wrapped up… today! Our time frame is so short that we find it difficult to imagine how anything good can come out of the darkness. But God sees a bigger picture: Your whole soul and body will be redeemed. You will be brought into the presence of God and made like Him. The creation itself is going to be redeemed.
When you see what God has redeemed in heaven, and you see your part in it, you will say “I’m so glad I waited for the Lord.”
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This LifeKey is based on the message “Trusting in the Darkness,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, delivered February 3, 2002, from the series “Battles From the Boardroom of the Soul.” Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.