"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land." (Psalm 37:7-9 ESV)
Be still. Wait. These are not intuitive choices when things are hard. Pain prompts us to get going and movement inherently feels productive—at least more productive than being still and waiting. Yet perhaps the product of our movement is to distract us from seeing things as they are. It’s hard to see everything clearly when your focus is set on taking the next step. It’s hard to know where you are if you never stop moving.
There’s an assumption in our problems that's precarious. We assume because they're our problems, we're the ones who are supposed to fix them. So when problems come our way, we jump into action applying our solution only to find too often that our fix didn’t really fix anything. So naturally, we try again. And again. Until anger simmers in our hearts as the presence of our unperturbed problems force us to come to grips with our limitations. Our problems require more than just us.
This realization is a gift, for God has made our problems His. In God’s hands, our problems take new form. In fact, the problems become the tool by which God pipes greater grace and faith into our lives. They become the means by which we see our need for God and learn to trust in His provision. Though it is painful to wait, we know the waiting is a necessary part of what God is doing in our lives.
May God grant us the grace to wait and be still that we might see His work clearly. May we wait patiently knowing that God’s timing is perfectly calibrated in love. May we rest knowing that one day all problems and pains will be done away with. Until then, may we trust these problems and pains serve an important purpose and are tools for our growth and for the growth of those we counsel. Be still. Wait. God is at work.