Crawling into bed, I grabbed my “Books of the Bible”. It’s a version of the Bible without chapters & verses and arranged historically–controversial to some–but I love it. I turned to Psalm 27. Earlier, I visited Biblegateway and the verse for the day was Psalm 27:14 “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” It seemed relevant. Right now, in my spiritual journey, I don’t necessarily think God sends me scripture or signs or grand gestures just because I think I need them. But this was relevant and timely and I took heed.
Timely, because, to be honest, yesterday sucked. Sorry if you’re uncomfortable with the vernacular, but there it is. Yesterday I came face to face with reality; a reality I knew was there but ignored as long as I could. And reality stinks (don’t worry, people who love me, I’ll be ok and it’s not something I’m at liberty to share). There’s no getting around it. A few souls came and went in my shop and I tried not to cry. People stopped at my home and I smiled and answered their questions and tried not to cry. I did laundry, cleaned, cooked, and spent time with the kids all the while trying to hold it together. If only this were pms I thought. Sorry, no hormones, just life (circumstantial life, not even depression to blame).
So, when I read “Wait…be brave and courageous…wait patiently”, I knew I needed to listen. Later, in bed, snuggled beneath blankets on a cold fall night that echoed my heart, I read the rest of the chapter and found consolation among the words. The Lord is my light…saving…protecting…surrounding…concealing…showing mercy… As I drifted off to dreamland with the phrase wait…be bold…be courageous…wait lulling me to sleep it struck me, not for the first time, but again: being told to wait is not synonymous with inactivity. The very next sentence is active, “Be bold and courageous.” But being bold and courageous may mean quietly, silently bearing your burden while you wait. Nothing new or profound, I know. But significant to me and maybe to you with whatever it is that you’re facing.
Here’s the whole Psalm for your reflection:
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble?
When evil people come to devour me,
when my enemies and foes attack me,
they will stumble and fall.
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident.
The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.
Hear me as I pray, O Lord.
Be merciful and answer me!
My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.”
And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.”
Do not turn your back on me.
Do not reject your servant in anger.
You have always been my helper.
Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me,
O God of my salvation!
Even if my father and mother abandon me,
the Lord will hold me close.
Teach me how to live, O Lord.
Lead me along the right path,
for my enemies are waiting for me.
Do not let me fall into their hands.
For they accuse me of things I’ve never done;
with every breath they threaten me with violence.
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness
while I am here in the land of the living.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
May your day be blessed and filled with the Holy as you wait patiently…