“How Long?” (Ps 13:1)
I have asked this question to God many times in my life. Not because I lack patience, but because, sometimes, the wait is difficult and it makes no sense. Why does God make us wait for important things like healing, freedom from addiction, mental clarity, and other related things? The sorrows of life are not like long grocery lines, traffic, or delayed shipping; they are significantly more urgent! The sorrows of life seem like something God would not, and should not delay in.
However, making us wait appears to be how God works. Abraham waited for a son. Joseph waited in an Egyptian prison. Moses, Caleb, and Joshua waited in the wilderness for forty years. Job waited through suffering. David waited to become king. Daniel waited in a lion's den. Jesus waited 30 years to begin his ministry.
Waiting is nothing new for the people of God. In fact, it is the church’s modus operandi (Rev 14:12). Why? Because it is good for us to wait. Only people who have endured long seasons of waiting know how rich the harvest is for those who endure (Ps 27:14). God is faithful and true to his promise to those who wait in faith:
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
Waiting is good for us because it teaches us to trust God. Trust is not something that can be forced on us, rather, it is something that must be created and nourished within us. It is something that requires testing and dependence. In the same way that our trust for people grows the more we depend on them, so does our trust for God grow as we wait on him.
Read Psalm 13 and notice how the psalmist ends his poem. His/her waiting is not hopeless, but expectant. I cannot tell you how God will reward your waiting, but at least one reward is certain: trust. Trusting God is the greatest reward we can receive. For it makes the troubles of life bearable, and the future God’s storehouse of hope.