1 I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 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.
3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.
Waiting on the Lord is a common theme in the Bible, and waiting is especially hard when times are tough. When our circumstances in life are difficult, we are impatient and crave assurance that He is with us and aware of our needs. “How long, O Lord, must I call for your help, but you do not listen?” (Habakkuk 1:2). Yet to “wait patiently” is to trust God -- His presence, His timing, His plans.
Several years ago my job in the business world became especially challenging. Management decisions, reorganization, and internal politics were making it difficult for me and my group to function effectively. Long hours and lack of success with important projects was demoralizing. Many times I felt that God was not present or guiding me. However, when I did ask Him for His guidance, He made me realize that although I had very limited influence on the business decisions being made, my personal influence on my co-workers was much more important. I was able to become more personally attentive and supportive of those around me and found joy in the group efforts. The work continued to be hard for all, but I feel my improved attitude reflected Christ to those around me.
This has been a very difficult year in our world– the COVID-19 pandemic, fires, the election, racial incidents and protests. We must continue to look to the Lord for His guidance and to joyfully praise Him even when His presence isn’t felt. Jesus, as his arrest and crucifixion drew near, warned his disciples of many difficulties to come. He concluded: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Let us joyfully celebrate this Advent season with the certainty of His resurrection, His presence in our world and our lives.