Where are you right now in your life? Are you in a difficult situation or a low spot? Are you trying to just keep your head above the water as the storm rages? Do you feel all alone and caught in the waves? You are not alone, trust me. I am 53 and don’t know much, but know there are seasons in all our lives that challenge us. It is just part of life here on earth.
I recently came across a passage I memorized years ago when I was waiting for God to bring sunshine into my life again. The clouds seemed dark at the time and the storm seemed to rage for a while. Psalms 130 was chapter I hung on to while I waited for the waves to subside. The good news is that the sun did shine again in my life but it took a while for the clouds to break and dawn to come. In the time in between was waiting...
Psalms 130 begins with, “Out of the depths I cry to you O Lord; O Lord hear my voice. Let your ear be attentive to my cry for mercy.” (NIV) The Psalmist was in a dark place and I believe was verbally processing where he was, reminding God of his plight; like Almighty God didn’t know. I am a verbal processor so I understand the conversation. He was reminding God that he was in a dark place and was waiting to see the kindness of God. I have had some of those same conversations with God myself; I just said it a little differently. My version went something like, “Seriously God, I don’t think I can make it much longer. I know you love me and are kind but I am tired.” I believe God loves it when we are honest with our feelings and tell him. He loves relationship with us just like I do with my three adult children. I love it when they share their hearts on a matter and tell me how they see things.
Often times in adversity, people blame God or feel he is punishing them. Psalms130:3 is a reminder that God doesn’t hold our sins against us when we confess them. I love The Message interruption of Psalms 130:3-4, “If you God kept records of wrongdoings, who would stand a chance? As it turns out, forgiveness is your habit, and that’s why you’re worshipped.” (The Message Bible) When I read this passage, I had to ask myself if I had a good habit of forgiving people. It was a good reminder to make it a habit, not an occasional event. Right there is the reason we all need to worship God more; simply because he does not hold our past against us. Whooo whoo! Do you daily thank God that He doesn’t hold your past against you? How do you treat those that have wronged you? Do you treat them with kindness or contempt? Do you hold the past against them?
Psalms 130: 6 states, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” I feel the Psalmist is preaching to himself here. I do that a lot. In the stormy times we have the word to hang on to and we need to remind ourselves of the truth. Wait in this passage is translated “to bind, to twist, to expect, to collect.” In the waiting time we have the opportunity to bind ourselves to God, to develop faith as we we put our expectation in Him and collect things necessary for the next part of the journey. Waiting is a gathering time.
Then the writer of Psalms reminds us to put our hope in the Lord for with Him is unfailing love and FULL redemption. What a promise to hang on to! Redemption means recovery, saving, or honoring. Sometimes the salvation in the storm comes as God guides us through the rain. Other times He rescues us. One thing is for sure, He is always loving us and right there.
The longer I walk with God, the more I am aware of His presence with me. His presence has become my security blanket and gives me confidence to step out and walk on the water. An awareness of God’s presence didn’t just come from reading the scripture. I had done that for years. It didn’t come from listening to a good sermon. I knew the verses and had them memorized. An awareness of His presence came as I waited on God, looked to Him to guide me through the storms of heartache, betrayal, disappointments. It came as I faced life altering illnesses with loved ones and as I put my hope in Him. An awareness of His unfailing love came as I poured out my heart in anguish in the depths of despair and wondering if I could survive. Sermons, memorizing, reading often don’t change us. It is as we take the word and apply it and develop an experience with God that the word becomes life and truth to us. Experience makes us rich when we learn from it. Our experience is invaluable. It makes us who we are and gives us authority.
Isaiah 30:18 sums things up and declares that we are blessed when we wait on God. It says, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion, For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” ( NIV)
Crying out to God, hanging on when we want to give up, reminding ourselves of truth , waiting on God’s redemption and putting our hope in Him is good for us. It strengthens us and enlarges us; therefore, our challenges become our opportunities to grow. The growth is often not easy but one day we will experience His full redemption of the situation. What do you need to do? Cry out, wait, make forgiveness a habit, preach to yourself or hope? Pick one and get started! Just do it... He is waiting on you. Are you just waiting or are you waiting on Him?
Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com