Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?
Through the years I’ve heard it said more times than i probably care to remember, “If you pray for patience, you’re only asking for difficulties, for things that will ‘make’ you patient.” yet I continue to pray for patience because through every difficult situation, every trial, I have seen God’s faithfulness. Does that mean that I look back on these times and say each one was a piece of cake? do I say each one had the ‘timely’ outcome I envisioned?
Absolutely NOT. I look back on these times, and each one is a reminder that God is faithful, He shows his mercy.
Yet during times of waiting, times of uncertainty, seasons of trial and feeling aloneness, there are moments of asking “how long, Lord, how long?” And just like David in the Psalm, I call out this question because my heart is filled with longing. And yes, sometimes there are even moments of grumbling. Some days I just want to give up. But there is something that keeps burning inside me. It isn’t something, it is Someone. It is knowing in my heart that I am not alone. 1 John 4:13 reminds me “This is how we know that we remain in Him and He in us: He has given assurance to us from His Spirit.”
Is it my fretting, the tapping of my fingers, the shaking of my foot nervously back and forth, shifting around from one position to another, or is it my complaining [or maybe call it whining?] that moves God or His timeline? Not in the least little bit. It is me stepping out in trust and knowing He is Sovereign. Me stepping into His Masterplan. waiting for Him to do what He will. As I have learned to surrender and to listen to the Holy Spirit, I see God’s handiwork in my life’s journey. Prayers have been answered. difficult situations and circumstances have become blessings and a part of my story. He has salvaged the bad for good, His Good.
Patience doesn’t come naturally. That’s why we have the Holy Spirit. He strengthens our resolve to endure without complaint when progress seems sluggish. After all, God is slow only from a human standpoint. From a divine, eternal perspective, He’s always working at the perfect speed.