Psalm 40. The Fine Art of Waiting Patiently.


Today’s Lectio Divina: Excerpts from Psalm 40. (MsgB)

I waited and waited and waited for God. At last He looked; finally He listened.

Now God, don’t hold out on me, don’t hold back Your passion.
Your love and truth are all that keeps me together.

Waiting patiently.

To be gut honest, I’ve never been one who does well with that. How about you? As a matter of fact, even while I know full well that patience is a virtue, my prayer over the years has primarily been, “Give me patience, God…and give it to me quickly!”

Wait! I know!

Maybe you and I can blame our lack of patience on our society? I mean, just think about it. Is there any place in our world today where patience is actually rewarded?

In this instant society we live in, I get frustrated when McDonald’s takes more than 3 minutes to fill my drive-through order. I get angry when my internet connection is so slow I have to wait a minute or two to download an app. I even complain to God at times when He doesn’t answer my prayer for this or that before I say the magic word, ‘Amen’! So, quite honestly, I guess I can feel better telling God that I’m not very patient because the world doesn’t allow me to be such.

But then…

There’s God’s Word. Psalm 40, for example.

Here, King David is singing about waiting and waiting and waiting on God. The NIV translation calls it ‘waiting patiently.’

Oh my.

How in the world can an impatient man like me, living in an impatient world, ever learn the fine art of waiting patiently?

Maybe part of my answer comes from David’s comment found later in Psalm 40?

Your love and truth are all that keeps me together.

Maybe here’s my problem. Maybe I’ve been trying to wait patiently without allowing God’s love and truth to be all that keeps me together? Maybe I’ve been leaning on my own strength or my own wisdom to keep me going when I’m trying to wait on God? Maybe I’ve been putting my trust in worldly things to encourage me as I wait? Maybe I’ve been looking in all the wrong places for endurance rather than allowing God’s unconditional love and His unending truth to be the strong foundation I need in waiting?

Earlier in this series on Psalms, we found in Psalm 31: 24 this encouragement:

Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the Lord.

Maybe the missing piece here is for me to wait and wait and wait for God not in my own strength, but actually by leaning completely upon His?

Hmm.

The fine art of waiting patiently. Maybe this might not be so hard after all? Maybe God already knows how very difficult it is for an old earth-dweller like me to wait and wait and wait on God? Maybe He knows that it will be only in His love and truth when I will finally find the strength to overcome this fleshly weakness of mine? And maybe, just maybe, my Loving Father is waiting patiently up there in heaven, hoping I will finally get a clue and ask Him for that strength in waiting, instead of trying to do this thing on my own?

Wow. Let me give this a try! I’ll tell you what. Let’s wait a day or two. I’ll be back later and give you an update on this ‘waiting patiently’ experiment of mine.

Oh yah. Feel free to try it out for yourself.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll become quite good at this ‘waiting patiently’ thing?

My prayer: Father, I’ve always understood that learning to wait patiently on You is a spiritual discipline in this lifetime. But I readily confess that I’ve been trying to wait on You using my own strength to do just that. So Lord, I choose to change that process as of today. I choose to do my waiting not by my own strength and endurance but by leaning fully on Your love and truth to keep me all together. For Your name’s sake. Amen.

My questions to ponder: Could my impatient waiting actually be transformed by putting into practice the truth I find here in Psalm 40? What might it look like for me to learn the fine art of waiting patiently on God by utilizing His love and truth versus leaning upon my own strength and endurance?

So what is God speaking to you today as you ponder the Psalms?


Over a 50-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Psalms: God’s Songbook of Prayers. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Psalms home page for ease of use. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to explore the on-going applications of this blog series is to walk alongside a biblically-based, Christ-centered spiritual director who is familiar with how to make material like this part of your overall spiritual formation in God. Many of our directors in our Sustainable Faith-Heartland network are available to companion you in your journey with Jesus. Click here for more info.

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