Here at my desk in my little cubby in the Collegiate office I’ve framed several Scripture verses. I want them to remind me of truths that somehow either slip my mind or get lost in the barrage of “urgent” tasks and responsibilities. I need reminding a lot!
I don’t really remember why I chose one passage…but it spoke truth to me this morning as I was praying for a pressure-filled week.
Psalm 40:1 NASB says: “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.”
I’ve frequently been comforted by this picture of our heavenly Father bending down towards me to listen closely to me. It speaks to my heart of His love and tenderness and initiative to know me. That’s probably why I picked it for my office wall!
But this morning I was reminded that I need to wait patiently for Him. “Wait” means to have eager expectation. (I picture expectant parents eagerly awaiting the arrival of their child.) I need to eagerly expect HIM, just HIM…. and not the outcomes I feel so necessary to a contented life. My heavenly Father is for me and He is going to show up! I know the Lover of my soul is fully able to act and can be trusted. When I’m reminded of that, I can patiently wait for Him alone and not an outcome.
And what also got my attention this morning was the next phrase: He inclined to me and heard my cry.
Hold on! This is saying that waiting patiently does not necessarily mean that I am happily or quietly or contentedly waiting! It does not mean that my heart is no longer burdened or weary or heavy. I can cry out to Him in the midst of the reality of my need or suffering or frustration….and He inclines to me even then. He hears my cry. And He doesn’t chastise me for being upset!
My cry these days does not often arise from the “chaos” of raising littles (unless all 6 grandkids are in our care for a few days), but I well remember my frustration and pain with Ken’s campus schedule and my kids’ “journey to obedience”. I felt the burden of disciplining our children. I felt the weight of their spiritual upbringing. But I didn’t cry out to the Lord. I just got busy or busier…..and stuffed my cries. I was slow to wait for the Lord and His presence…..His ear that bends towards me. I thought the “spiritual” thing to do was to put a smile on my face and gut it out.
How I wish I had known and understood Psalm 40:1 then. To eagerly expect Him in my life and not a change in my circumstances. To know His tender care and concern for me as I face challenges. To take time to wait for Himpatiently. To look for Him in every disappointment….and to freely be His honestly crying child. And ultimately to entrust myself to Him for all I need to persevere through weighty seasons. Ultimately that is all the change I need to get through whatever is challenging me.
This is what I’m reminding myself of these days.
Today may you know the loving inclination of our Great Father as you eagerly expect His presence.
I met the Navigators my first week of college on the recommendation of a brother of a friend. I had only become a believer the month before so I’ve spent almost all of my believing life in the Navigator family, 37 of those on staff. Ken and I have 3 adult children and 6 grandchildren. I’m a funny, sometimes confusing mix of strategic thinker and homemaker….so I’m already getting excited about the Christmas season when our house will transform into The Holiday House!