December 08, 2015

Anxious Waiting

2 Samuel 18:24-33

As he looked out, he saw a man running alone. . . . The king said, “If he is alone, he must have good news.”

—  2 Samuel 18:24-25

King David was waiting for news that he hoped would never come. David was on the run as his own son threatened to take over the kingdom. Even so, he seemed to care more about his rebellious son than about the kingdom and all who were loyal to him. David’s earlier instructions to his army and his only question of the messengers concerned the young man Absalom.

David pinned his hopes on the smallest of signs, just as we might while awaiting news we would dread. Each time a runner was sighted, David tried to believe it was a good sign. But in his anxiety, David could not hear the good news the messengers brought. He heard only the news that he hoped would not come. Absalom did not survive, and David wept.

It can be hard to hear good news when we are concerned about other news, whether we are waiting at a doctor’s office, or looking up exam results, or answering a late-night phone call. In our anxiety, it can be hard to hear that God has delivered us.

But the message the runners brought to David included good news as well as sad news. God had preserved the kingdom of David, and through Jesus, born in the line of David, God has delivered us. In Jesus we learn that God is with us even when bad news comes our way.

Lord, guard our hearts and minds so that we may have peace in you even while waiting for news we might not want to hear. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Norman Visser

Norman Visser has served as a pastor of churches in Ontario, Nova Scotia, and South Dakota. He states that while he is “not known for waiting patiently,” he is “working on it.” Norman and his wife, Marcia, have three children.

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