Psalms 27:14 caught my attention when I saw it in a blog post last week. While I’m familiar with the verse, I hadn’t seen it in this (unknown) translation, which illuminates its seemingly contradictory nature:
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
It’s an ice cream sandwich of a verse. A matched set interrupted by something completely different.
I’ve done a lot of thinking (and writing) about waiting and being brave in recent months. While I’ve never sat around twiddling my thumbs, I’ve only been willing to go so far in pursuit of goals or adventures. Worried about somehow overstepping God or taking a stupid risk, I’ve always left room for His “will” and guidance. I’ve seen Him come through big-time for so many people who exercised this kind of passive obedience. But it hasn’t been the right method for me. When I realized I’m nowhere near where I want to be in life, while others are either having things handed to them or boldly making things happen, I finally got fed up. I do believe desert periods in our lives, while unfun, are helpful for our faith and growth. But I’ve had a tent up in the desert for a long time, and it occurred to me that maybe I could pack up the tent and find my own way out, instead of waiting for God to escort me via a pillar of fire. Maybe He’s been waiting for me to get frustrated enough to do it.
So, right now it infuriates me to be told to wait. I’ve spent my whole life waiting. I’m ready to be brave and courageous. But apparently I’m supposed to do both. How is that possible?
Most of us have a hard time accepting that we do not have the ultimate say over our own lives. Our most valiant efforts can come up dry. Our best attempts to control outcomes can fail. Even worse, we might never find out why. I abhor a vacuum. My brain practically short-circuits trying to accept mysteries that I can’t tie up in a neat bow of purpose, situations with no solution. But as I get more aggressive about living, I’m going to encounter more and more of them.
Being brave and courageous is not a guarantee that everything will work out. It means more opportunities to trust God while we actively pursue things. Our proactivity is good, but it doesn’t exempt us from waiting. It’s another mystery that I have to struggle to accept.
About Brenda W.Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister's iced tea. View all posts by Brenda W. →
Posted in faith, reflections