Originally published Tuesday, 09 June 2015.
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:1 NIV
Has a season of waiting threatened the stability of your heart? I’ve certainly experienced more shaking to my faith in God’s character than I care to admit. But with each experience, God has been so faithful to recenter my faith deeper and truer than before--and fixed solely on Him so that in the future I am less and less shaken by hardships.
The Hebrew word for shaken is mot; meaning to totter, shake, or slip. It’s also translated as fall, falter, be moved, stagger, or shaken violently.
If you were to think back over the times you felt your faith shaken in God’s goodness, in His love for you, in His complete ability to save you from sin, or any of the other doubts about Him that have tugged at your heart, can you look back and see that a posture of waiting was necessary in your faith journey at that time?
I can see that sometimes when I’ve slipped the most severely in my faith journey it has been because the Lord wanted me to hunker down, and wait. He knew my feet needed to slow down for whatever was ahead and when I didn’t, I slip, slid, and tottered.
I’ve watched beloved fellow servants of Christ get twisted up in their faith journey because a circumstance was so discouraging or confusing that they wanted to plow through it and get to the other side (and who can blame them). But they needed to wait on the Lord instead of blasting through the pain. In their rush and hurry I watched the purity of their faith hit a slip and slide.
It’s one thing to know we are supposed to fix our expectation only on the Lord and an entirely different thing to actually live it out. Waiting on the Lord isn’t always perfectly clear when your in the midst of it. God often works through our circumstances, so as we wait for Him, our eyes are figuratively darting around, looking for His hand. When people tell us we are being lazy and need to “just get out there” and do XYZ, we can question if we are really waiting for God or simply being foolish or lazy. Waiting can be confusing.
In the above verse, David did a couple things we can practice in our hard seasons. He waited for the Lord. But his waiting was in silence or stillness.
A few years ago, for a delightful season, I worked as a photographer. And as a photographer, I know the value of stillness. Lenses these days have delightful, modern mechanisms that allow us more jiggle and wiggle in our shots. But when my grandpa was shooting before image stabilizers and the like, it required absolute, perfect stillness to capture a clear photo. I usually photograph portraits of people or weddings, and that is what my gear is best suited for, but on vacations I usually drag my man out to go “hunting” for animals at dawn. The low light and stretching my gear’s focal ability makes me need to be perfectly still more than I normally would. If I’m not still, the image will be blurry, and the shot spoiled.
Our spiritual waiting can be a lot like waiting to get the perfect picture of a bear or big horned sheep in the early morning hours. We must hunker into our place with quietness. If we make noise, chatter, whine about the cold or damp, fidget with our breakfast or camera equipment, we will miss the beauty of the dawn. We won’t be ready for the potential delight we could find there because our expectation is everywhere else but where it should be.
My soul waits for the Lord More than the watchmen for the morning; Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning. Psalm 130:6 NAS
When God has called me to seasons of waiting, my focus is tempted to dart over everything else in my life. I want to pick up the phone and chat with a friend, sort my closet, start some project, anything but waiting for God in a posture of silence and expectation. But when I quiet my heart so that the Lord fills my whole attention, I am promised the security and joy of heart I truly desire.
I have set the Lord continually before me; Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken (that’s our word mot). Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices. Psalm 16:8-9a
I so very much want a “glad” heart and a glory that rejoices! If you are in a waiting place, I pray your heart would be steadfast and glad because you continually make the Lord your complete focus. May He grace you to find stillness before Him so that He would be your steady Rock and Salvation in all things.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change And though the mountains slip (there’s our word again) into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Psalm 46:1-3