There's Weight in the Wait
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
Do you remember when you were little, anxiously waiting for Christmas morning to arrive? Knowing that the items on your wish list would soon be underneath the tree. It was the most magical feeling in the whole world. As you got older, the waiting was too much to stand, so you inevitably snuck into your parents hiding place and took a peek. Waiting for something you have asked for is hard to do. But waiting for something you already know you have is even harder.
This is the first time a bible story has ever impacted my heart in such a real way. Everyone knows the story of David and Goliath. You can’t even say David’s name without thinking of Goliath. But I read a different story this time around, a story about a simple shepherd boy, who became a soldier in seconds and was born to be king. As I dug into the story of David, I was truly inspired by the way David lived his life on nothing but faith. David coming onto the scene in 1 Samuel 17 was the first small step of many in David’s faithful journey. As I read about his famous battle with Goliath, I began to wonder how David managed to wait so long to become king. My understanding of his story was that he is anointed king of Israel, kills the giant no ones else could and then - just like that - his prize is the throne. But that was not the case. How many of us know that in order to become “king” we have to learn how to be faithful as the “shepherd”?
And that is where I find myself in this season of my life— waiting. Waiting on the next step, next leap of faith — and it can be so discouraging at times. The circumstance that David found himself in completely contradicted the calling placed on him. And I think that is where a lot of us find ourselves. We know what God has called us to, we just have no idea how to get there. Here are some ways that have helped me tremendously while navigating this season.
1. Wait with people around you
David had hundreds of men by his side while on the run from Saul.
“All those who were in distress or in debt or discontented gathered around him, and he became their commander. About four hundred men were with him.” 1 Samuel 22:2
It is so important to have the right people around you not only in every season but especially in difficult ones. At the beginning of this year I was really lonely and in need of community. I prayed that God would place the right people in my life. It was funny because a year later, I didn't even realize it, but God had answered my prayers. It was like all of these wonderful people came out of nowhere, and I now have the most amazing support system and family in my corner. You need a circle of people around you, to help and guide you. To tell you to stop overreacting, to make you laugh when you are in a bad mood, and to encourage you when you feel like giving up. It’s incredible how different your life can look with the right people pouring into your life.
2. Wait without being bitter
“Now Saul heard that David and the men with him had been found. Saul was sitting in Gibeah under the tamarisk tree on the high place with his spear in his hand. All his servants were standing around him.” 1 Samuel 22:6
Saul was already in position to kill David. He was ready with a spear in his hand, probably mulling over everything David had done. He had become overwhelmed by jealousy, revenge, and anger when just a few chapters earlier he was God’s chosen one - favored and loved. Saul let bitterness control his every move, and as a result he lost God’s favor on his life.
This was a wake up call for me, because as I read more, I began to identify with parts of Saul. Sometimes I was that bitter person, jealous of opportunities that my friends were getting, and of relationships they were in. I was always comparing my accomplishments to others, so confused and hurt why I wasn't getting the same blessings as the people around me. And I was trying to take control of my life— making pieces fit when I knew that wasn't what God wanted for me. And if I’m honest, I still struggle with some of those things today. I had to ask myself, am I serving my purpose or position? That question was hard for me to answer. But I as I continued to read how David reacted to all of Saul’s crazy behaviors, it inspired me to do the same.
First of all, how in the world did David manage to be patient for twenty years after he already was anointed king? I mean, think about that for a moment. Twenty years is about as long I’ve been alive— and that is how long David waited to step into his calling. That has me in awe every time I think of it! Secondly, David had a front row seat to Saul’s insane corruption - of not only Israel but his own life - and what amazes me more than anything David did is how he continued to be just as faithful to Saul as he was to God. David learned to turn the other cheek. David still loved and revered Saul, even though he was trying to kill him. He didn't “get even” with Saul, despite the many opportunities he had. He also never talked about Saul behind his back.
All of these are things I know a lot of us struggle with. It’s human nature to want to “get even” and talk bad about other people when they receive blessings you think you deserve. When you tend to focus on what you don't have, you will inevitably become bitter and have a lot of negative things to say.
3. Wait but keep moving
I have been on a couple road trips this year, and I realized that I love the idea of them. Jamming to your favorite songs, eating junk food, being on the open road with no responsibilities. But in reality, you can never get your favorite songs to play because there is no service, the junk food upsets your stomach, and after about forty five minutes you are completely bored and wishing you were already there. I mean I might be overreacting just a little, but I know most of you can relate. We love the idea of our callings and purpose in life, but we don’t want to do the work or take the time to get there. I couldn’t count the times I felt like throwing in the towel and giving up, because I wasn't experiencing the results I wanted.
In 1 Samuel 30 David is almost to the finish line. He is in a battle with the Amalekites and fighting with his own troops but it says “… David found strength in the Lord his God.” I love that so much. Through everything David had endured, he still found it in his heart to remember to lean on God. David could have easily stayed in a cave and not moved during those twenty years. But instead he kept going, each battle and run-in with Saul bringing him closer to his calling. Reading David’s story helped me to put my season in perspective. Even though this is not the ideal place I wish my life was at, I know that I will be so grateful in the future for this season. God is already working through all the transitions and testing season— teaching me how to be faithful where I am. David waited on God’s timing and spent the years learning to listen to the Lord. This is my goal during this season— to be as faithful and strong as David was. God has an outcome for your life, or you wouldn't be on this Earth. Let's wait well!