What’s the difference between waiting and waiting patiently?

Relax - put trust into play

Relax – put trust into play

I waited patiently for the Lord. Psalm 40

Is there a difference between waiting and waiting patiently? Yes.

I wait for the bus to arrive. I am not patient: I look down the road for its arrival, or I check the bus schedule app on my phone, or I look at my watch only to see less than a minute has gone by since I last looked at my watch. Time passes – maybe I should say time drags, torturing me. Ten minutes seems an eternity. Consumed with what is missing – the bus; aware of my inconveniences, I’m late, It’s cold, I’m bored. Agitation and irritation rule my experience.

This is waiting without patience.

Waiting patiently doesn’t mean the bus will arrive any sooner, the same ten minutes pass; but what is different is my relationship with the passing time and the focus of my attention. My attention is not on what is lacking, but on what is present. I remember the bus is coming, it will be here when it gets here. I cannot change it’s arrival time. It has come every day around this time, it will come again today. So I might as well relax. The passing time reminds me I am not in control of my life (as much as I would like to believe I am!)

When I relax I am putting trust into play. There must be a better way to use these ten minutes than pacing and cursing and being frustrated.

I have a lot to say about waiting check out this for more thoughts and watch for more posts about the subject.  You’ll be glad you did.

Patience when you’re in the Pits?

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog. Psalm 40:1

David, caught in a miry bog and a desolate pit is able to wait patiently for God to relieve him from a sticky and lonely place. Wow. He did not cease crying to God, (I’m assuming for deliverance and help) yet he could patiently remain. That blows my mind.

I transfer the images of a literal pit and miry bog to emotional ones. I see a hole in the ground either so large, I could fall into it and be trapped; or so small and unnoticeable, I could trip into it and lie immobile because of an injury sustained from the fall. I imagine a lake that seems safe, but is in fact quicksand. I am stuck, all my efforts to free myself only end with me sinking deeper in the muck.

I don’t purposely fall into pits or bogs, but sometimes I find myself in a situation or relationship where I feel lonely, abandoned, conflicted or trapped. I long for escape but there is no relief. I remain desolate and in tumult, stranded in an unbearable situation.

David could wait patiently for God’s response. Can I? Can I trust God is aware of and involved in this process? Can I continually voice my desire for rescue without demanding it?

A sense of uselessness and a fear of insignificance is my pit and bog. God, though, is graciously granting me a glimpse of how this trapped-ness is purifying my soul. When I angrily beat my fists, against the wall of my nothingness, God joins me in the pit and reminds me I am his and I am enough. When I accuse myself of being a loser in all things spiritual, God shows me that my standards of success are set higher than his.

I am quieted, I am grateful, I trust this pit is a place of transformation. And when I am delivered, God puts a new song in my mouth. One of praise that points to God’s glory, not my own. Lord, have mercy.

He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Psalm 40:3

With you in the journey,