Sometimes a verse just kicks you in the teeth. It hits you hard and knocks you to the ground, and sometimes it kicks you in the teeth, breaks your heart and then mends pieces you didn't know were broken. Psalm 27:14 has made me mad, encouraged me, scared me and then changed my view of God in a completely different way than I ever expected.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!
– Psalm 27:14
I'm reading through the Psalms right. I am currently on Psalm 119, and on a side note let me just say you need to read it! So good! Anyway, I passed Psalm 27 a while ago, but a few days ago it hit me. I remembered reading it a couple weeks months ago (I'm on the read your Bible in three years plan), thinking, how did I miss this verse?
I find myself in an extremely slow and also very fast time of waiting. I don't know how else to say that besides I feel I am constantly in a state of waiting, yet what I am waiting for is right around the corner. It's a strange feeling, a feeling of deep, deep longing and at the same time an anxiety for what is to come. And in this paradox of emotions, God inserts Psalm 27:14. It just stuck without any effort and played on repeat in my brain. My first-ish thought was, great, I'm not getting an answer anytime soon. Perfect. Thanks a lot. (I know, my thoughts are super godly.) God clearly wants me to trust Him and wait, which, let's be honest, I wasn't thrilled about.
Then it encouraged me, built me up and empowered me! Yes, Lord, I will trust you! You've got this! Your way is better than mine and you know what is best. I will be strong and courageous. Next came the fear – my kryptonite. Fear rips through my mind like nothing else. It twists my thoughts and brings doubt and the worst of the worst-case scenarios into my heart. It changes a loving God who cares personally for me into an omnipotent deity that will do the worst to me in order to accomplish His will. Clearly not a good place to be, especially in this state of waiting.
In true Psalms fashion, I did not stay in that horrible state of fear. The Lord swiftly used Psalm 116:7 to remind me of His true nature and my propensity to sway toward that which is terribly negative. I love the gentle rebukes He sends us to bring our hearts back to Him.
Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
– Psalm 116:7 (NIV84)
Today, Psalm 27:14 changed my view of God, in a much more positive way and hopefully a much more permanent way. I started thinking less about the call to wait and more about the "be strong, and let your heart take courage" part. God believes I need to be strong and my heart needs courage to get through this difficult waiting period.
I realized in that moment I had believed God to be up in heaven shaking His head at me and muttering, "Why can't she get this right!? I'm God. Hello, BaCall, trust me already!" The God in my head is irritated with my lack of trust and with my inability to get it together. He's grumpy with me.
But does a grumpy, irritated God encourage you to be strong and take courage? No! I have this personal loving God, who gently tells me, “It's really hard, and I understand more than you can ever imagine. I just need you to be strong right now, let your heart have the courage to trust me, and wait. Believe me, it takes courage to do that, but rely on me and I will give you the strength to do it.”
That's the God we have! The loving, encouraging, and slow-to-anger God who sent His Son to save me. Not the grumpy, irritable god that lives in my head when fear and doubt take over.
Previously published on bacallburns.com. Used with permission.