FROM YOUR PASTOR’S HEART November 27,2023
One of the hardest Christian disciplines for me to develop has been patience. One of the hardest Bible verses for me to live out is Psalm 27:14, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say on the Lord!” My first instinct is always to leap into action. When I see something that needs doing, I want to follow the advice of “Larry the Cable Guy,” and “Git er done.” Waiting for anything is tough for me, but waiting on the Lord is even harder. It requires an extra measure of faith that God is at work in the situation.
The Lord has had to teach me patience over the past 69 years. I won’t say that I have mastered this discipline. Yet, I have come a long way from that youngster, who couldn’t sit still long enough for anyone to teach him anything. The boy “Growing Up on Dump Ground Road” was a fidgeter. He was constantly on the move. If he was seated, his legs were swinging. If he was standing, his arms were swinging. He could not sit still, if his life depended on it. That boy was constantly in motion. Being still and quiet for two hours on Sunday morning, during Sunday School and Worship service, was very challenging for the DGR kid.
The man that God grew from that fidgety boy is still learning to “Wait on the Lord.” More than 40 years as a pastor of Baptist churches has helped that growth process. It didn’t take long for me to learn that things do not happen quickly in church life. We do not make hasty decisions or leap into action in the typical church. We know the value of spending time in prayer before we take on any major projects. We follow the Bible’s direction to consider the cost before we act. And, we do our best to have the full support of the congregation, rather than a split vote.
The psalmist, King David, had learned this valuable lesson, as well. He had come to know the benefits of waiting on God’s timing, which he shares in this verse. He tells us to “be of good courage.” We can have confidence that God is at work in every situation that we face in life. David states that “He shall strengthen your heart.” We can become discouraged, in the midst of our trials and tribulations. Yet, if we take our troubles to the Lord, we can rest assured that He will meet our needs. Waiting on the Lord is so important that David repeats it in this verse, to stress the benefits derived from doing it. While I have no way of knowing the challenges you are facing in your life today, I do know that help is available. My advice is to take it to God in prayer and leave it there. Then, “Wait on the Lord!”
Serving in love, Bro. Jim