February 02, 2020

When Waiting Feels Unbearable

Psalm 130

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

—  Psalm 130:5

One of my favorite pastors used to warn, “Never pray for patience; you will not like how God teaches you.” Most people are not very good at waiting, whether it’s for food to be served, a traffic light to change, or test results to arrive. In our fast-paced world, waiting is usually an irritating inconvenience.

As a child, I eagerly anticipated Christmas. As a teen, I counted down to graduation and leaving the nest. As an adult, the longest weeks I ever experienced were those leading up to the announcement that I was accepted into a three-year clinical trial for treatment of my second bout with cancer. My life depended on it.

When the psalmist writes that his “whole being waits,” perhaps you—like me—can relate to that feeling. His heart and soul long for a sign from God, a flicker of light while hanging out in the depths of darkness. He wanders back and forth between calling out to God and reminding himself of the goodness and faithfulness of God.

Fear creeps into our waiting when there’s a possibility of bad news—and that can make the situation feel unbearable. Like the psalmist, we must keep our eyes fixed on God, the source of hope for this life and forever. There is no outcome that God will not help us handle.

Dear Lord, we cautiously pray for patience as we deal with irritating little things and major, life-altering, fearful things. Thank you for your infinite mercy. Infuse us with unshakable hope in your Word. Amen.

About the author — Bonny Mulder-Behnia

Bonny Mulder-Behnia is a pastor in Bellflower, California, with 25 years of experience in church staff, educational, congregational, and pastoral ministry. She is married to Jahan and has two adult children and a grandson.

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