Wait and Other Four-Letter Words


Photo by S. Sepp.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalm 27:14 (ESV)

“Wait” is a four-letter word.  In my mind it ranks right up there with the most offensive four-letter words ever uttered (you know, like “diet” or “kale” [blech!]).  I don’t know about you, but my life is busy (another four-letter word).  Who has time to wait?

Sometimes we’re waiting in traffic (as in “slow” – go ahead and count the letters in that word as well).

Sometimes we’re waiting for something far more serious – a doctor’s report, financial help, healing in a relationship that’s gone sour… any number of troubles that come to us in life.

And waiting isn’t always easy.  Waiting can often lead to worry (worse than a four-letter word by one letter).  And worry leads to anxiety.  And the two together lead us away from faith.

There is good reason why Jesus tells us to keep our eyes on Him.  We are called to abide in Him – to stay (a good four-letter word) in Him, make God’s will – His kingdom – our home.

This leads us to one of my favorite four-letter words: hope.  The apostle Paul reminds us to “rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12, ESV).  When we do these things, we keep our focus on the Lord and His promises.

And, as Peter learned when he walked on the water, staring at the storm will only cause us to drown.  But keeping our eyes on Christ saves us.  He is our hope.  “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Another lesson Peter has shared with us: “…with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8, ESV). God operates on a whole different plane than we do.  He is not contained by time or matter.  The past, present and future are all the same to our Heavenly Father.  He is utterly boundless.

His timing is perfect.

His strength is perfect.

His love is perfect.

His ways are perfect.

We are not called to understand everything, or know when (or if) things are going to come to pass.  But we are called to be faithful, to put our full trust in God.  We need to simply lift our hearts to the Lord and know that, no matter how life goes, we are God’s children. He loves us and will never abandon us.  His will (four-letters, great word) eclipses anything we believe we need (yes, four-letters again).

Our strength comes from hopefully waiting on God, knowing He is far above our circumstances.  He has a plan (four letters again) for our lives – for my life, for your life.

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

Maybe “wait” isn’t such a bad four-letter word after all.

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