“Be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalm 37:7, NLT)
There’s a standing joke on a film set: “Hurry up and wait.” Whether you’re crew or cast, every minute is money and it’s important to be on time, in position and ready — while realizing that call times can be pushed or delayed because of the unforeseen or unexpected: rain that forces a company move or the star talent that’s having a meltdown in their trailer. A zillion things can happen before the cameras roll but you’ve got to be in place and ready when they do.
Whether we like it or not, the saying often applies to our lives of faith. How many times have you stood on God’s scripture promises or a special word whispered in your heart — and chafed or faltered when the answer is slow to come or appears out of reach?
King David knew what it was like to wait. Anointed by the prophet Samuel as Israel’s new king, it was years before he actually sat on the throne. And yet, through those years, he clung to God’s promise and did not push God’s hand.
Even when he was persecuted and wrongfully accused by Saul, the then-reigning king, he refused to let go of God’s promise. And when he had opportunity to kill Saul and literally snatch the kingdom out of his hand, David refused to compromise his integrity and force God’s will. Psalm 37 is an amazing inside look at how he handled waiting.
“Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily on his path.” (Psalm 37:34, NLT)
There is a balance between positioning yourself for what you believe God has spoken and patiently, trustingly holding that position while you wait for the full realization of the promise. For David, it was the kingdom; for us, it could be a raise or promotion, a wayward child coming home, a marriage restored.
We must work hard to faithfully get into position and prepare ourselves for what we believe is coming (those cameras are going to roll), all the while maintaining our integrity and our hope as we cling fiercely to God and his word.
If we can do that, we’ll have a peace and power in our lives that others will notice and that will carry us through the waiting time. And our time of rejoicing will be that much more significant when God gets the glory for something only he could orchestrate.