Great grief and distress can come while waiting for something longed and hoped for. Even waiting for something we believe is a desire placed in our heart by our heavenly Father can cause an emotional roller coaster ride of excitement, disappointment, confusion, depression, anger, submission, hope, high expectation, exhilaration, disappointment, confusion, depression and so on. One may reach the conclusion that for peace’ sake one must give up desiring and hoping. Our desire for peace may become a far greater need than the desire for the thing wished. How long will we wait for an answer? How long will we wrestle with unanswerable questions? How long will we languish in anguish and unrest?
So, we quit. We give up. Then come new questions. Is it lack of faith that has ruled? Am I right to give up or have I acted contrary to all I believe about patience, God’s timing, and His promises to those who keep the faith? What about Bible stories of those who waited years for fulfillment of promise before giving birth, rising to power, receiving sight, reaping reward, or other answer to prayer?
But, maybe I should never have wished it? What if I am asking in vain because I ask for wrong reasons? What if I have judged wrongly my grief and distress? Maybe they are not for doubting but tempering. Maybe the thing wanted cannot be received with humility and gratitude apart from a journey down some long arduous road. Maybe what is desired could not be powerfully embraced without strength born from struggle. While these new thoughts begin to lift my spirit, and a fresh breeze brushes by as I rise to a pilgrimage peak, I fully expect my mood soon to turn dark and dive to new lows as before. How can I ride the rising and falling of emotion and dismiss the need to cry, “Stop! Let me off!” ?
Our reasoning and questioning outside of scripture can give a sound beating and provide sleepless nights. When we bring our thinking back for fine tuning by God’s Word, our spirit can be restored and peace returned. The Psalmist guides us to God’s green pastures and still waters with this assurance.
Psalm 37: 3-9 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land.
Apply your Word, O Lord, to my head, heart, feet and seat, that I may rest in your promises and fret no more. Your Holy Word matters to me. Amen!