(March 27, 2008)

Living Room tomorrow. Yes!!! I’m so looking forward to it – so looking forward to seeing who all will be there. Will some people who haven’t been for a while surprise me?

Our devotional will be about waiting. All our life seems to be filled with a long series of waiting games, doesn’t it? As a child we waited to grow to adulthood. We wait for our first car. We wait to be able to pay off the car. …and on it goes.

We will list some of the things we are waiting for and what the waiting feels like. Are we waiting expectantly, excitedly, or – in cases of illness or depression – with a sense of hopelessness? Are we able to wait patiently? What does it mean to be patient?

One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 40:1-3. I start my new book with this:

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit; out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Unfortunately, being patient and hopeful is pretty difficult during times of depression. It’s the nature of depression to take away hope. And we often don’t feel God’s presence at times like that either, so it becomes hard to trust Him. Fear takes over.

It’s good at times like that to have a friend who has a strong faith, a friend who would have faith for us, who will show God’s love to us. If we can sense God’s love through another person it will be easier to hang on and to be comforted and encouraged.

As we wait for things, we need to keep praying…though I know that this can be difficult in cases of depression. But we should try to pray realizing that – in the end – it is God’s will that will be done. Instead of forcing our own will, we submit to God’s. We need to do what we can, emboldened by our prayers, but then we put what we are waiting for in God’s hands. That’s where trust and patience come from.

If we can wait in that way – prayerfully doing what we can and leaving the rest to God – we will be transformed, as the Psalm above describes so well. It happened to Abraham (waiting for the son God had promised him), Moses (waiting to deliver the Israelites from Egypt), David (fleeing King Saul’s army for ten to thirteen years), and Jesus himself (in the wilderness resisting the temptation of the devil).

…those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)