I Waited Patiently for the Lord

Psalm 40

1     I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.

2     He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.

3     He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.

In a time of adversity and uncertainty it is far too easy to think we are alone.  Historically, people have also thought that they had been abandoned by God.  The Psalmist speaks to the experience of paralysis, of being stuck.  This feeling of being stuck, of being mired, is an apt description for where we find ourselves today.  We may not feel abandoned by God, but we feel no less mired.  Into our experience of COVID 19 displacement the Psalmist speaks a powerful, poetic word of hope and faith.  The Psalmist believed that in a time of trial we would indeed see and experience the redemptive work of God.

Waiting with Abraham and Sarah

The childless couple, Abram and Sarai, were told to be old when they first entered into a covenant relationship with God. God stepped into their life and made them an offer. God would look out for them. God would make them the parents of a great and numerous nation. God would provide for them a place, a land of plenty. Abram and Sarai would bear in their person the promise and presence of God. It seemed like a sweet deal for them. One hitch was having no children. The other wrinkle is that there was no time frame. The couple picked up from their home and began their journey with God. Year after year they followed. There were ups and downs, twists and turns and still no children. Yet, there are few instances recorded where they seemed to feel they were alone. When these times came, God showed up to remind them of the promise. Though it was uneven, the trajectory of faithfulness continued. It took 25 years before the key element of the covenant was realized with the birth of their son Isaac. Abraham and Sarah didn’t sit and do nothing, waiting for fulfillment. They lived, walked and learned.

Life and Faith in a Time of Pandemic

When the Stay at Home orders were handed down, we had a choice.  We could have run to our storm cellar and hunkered down until the storm passed.  After all, it won’t last that long.  Or, we could have followed the direction and learned new ways to live, be faithful, and continue our journey.  I am grateful that so many of us chose the latter.  What we have learned during this time will be the building blocks of how we continue through the pandemic.  In addition, there will be new things to learn, new lessons that will be critically important to what comes next in our new future.  This means that we continue to walk with God and grow.  We engage the trust that even when we make a misstep, God will show us the way back to the path.  Let us embrace the faith of the Psalmist, knowing that God will lead us again into a time of safety and security and that we will once again sing a new song of God’s grace.