Wait on the Lord


The twenty-seventh Psalm bids us to “Wait for the Lord.” It would be a good resolution to take into the coming New Year. How do we learn to wait instead of rushing headlong into hurry and worry?

First, if you would wait on the Lord, learn to pause. James Truslow Adams has made this suggestion: “Perhaps it would be a good idea, fantastic as it sounds, to muffle every telephone, stop every motor, and halt all activity for an hour some day to give people a chance to ponder for a few minutes on what it is all about; why they are living, and what they really want.” Pausing can make all the difference in the world.

Learn to pray. And remember, the most important thing in any prayer is not what we say to God, but what God says to us. So often we are prone to pray and then hurry away without giving God a chance to answer. It was Dwight L. Moody who counseled, “Spread out your petition before God, and then say, ‘Thy will be done.’ The sweetest lesson I have learned in God’s school is to let the Lord choose for me.”

Practice patience. And that isn’t easy. Haven’t you found it to be so? It is so easy to pray, “Lord, give me patience and I want it right now!” Patience is needed every day whether it is painting a picture, rearing a son or daughter, building a happy marriage or helping to bring peace to our troubled world. “Let him be your guide, and run not before him whatever betide.”

Learn to persevere. Jacob Reis was a great social reformer who labored for years clearing the slums of New York. Discouragement was his greatest obstacle. He found the encouragement and help he needed one day when he happened on stonecutters at work.

He noted that a worker would strike as many as one hundred blows with no visible results. Then with the one hundredth and one blow the stone would split in two. It was not the final blow alone that did it, but all the blows together.

Wait on the Lord as you strike all the blows that must be struck. Wait on the Lord as you pause amidst the toil and strife of life. Wait on the Lord as you lift your concerns in prayer. Wait on the Lord as you make patience a weapon of your warfare.

“Wait on the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait on the Lord!” Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he was senior minister for 23 years before retiring. He writes a religious column for several newspapers.

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2011-12-29 digital edition

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