by Pastor Reid Matthias
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I wait for the Lord; my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope (Psalm 130:5).
Read Psalm 130
There are different kinds of hope. One is for something you haven’t seen yet, and the other is waiting for something you know will happen. It’s an expectation.
Many years ago, one of the springs in our garage door exploded. Feeling slightly afraid, I grabbed a baseball bat to fend off whatever assailant was shooting off firecrackers while hiding in the garage. I opened the door, and with a sigh of relief, I spotted the uncoiled spring lying on the floor. Without the spring, the heavy garage door only lifted with great resistance, so my wife had a choice of encouraging me in one of two ways:
‘I hope you can fix the garage door’, or ‘I expect you can fix the garage door’.
Now, these are two very different statements. In the first, Christine, who loves me very much but has little experience with my abilities to repair things, hoped that I might summon the wisdom with which to fix the spring.
In the second, Christine, who loves me very much and has previously witnessed my ability to repair things, expected I’d be able to fix it.
Unfortunately, I was the first, and we called a garage tech the next day.
This hopeful waiting is similar to the psalmist’s experience. In the depths of trial or frustration, the psalmist cries out for God to help him. He begs God to listen and be attentive. And then, with great faith, the psalmist states, ‘I hope for the Lord; my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope’. Because the psalmist has witnessed God’s mercy and unfailing love in the past, the expectation is that God will be consistent and do the same some time in the future.
Thus, he waits for God to contend with the struggle of the present.
What kinds of things do you expect of God? How long are you prepared to wait? What do you believe is the purpose of waiting?
May God bless you as your whole being waits on him to show you his love and mercy.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your ever-present love for me. Although I don’t enjoy waiting, I recognise that, in your good time, I will see all the goodness you have for me. Amen.
Reid Matthias is the school pastor at St Andrews Lutheran College in Tallebudgera, Queensland. Reid is married to Christine, who is part of the Grow Ministries team. Together, they have raised three incredible daughters, Elsa, Josephine and Greta. Dedicated to the written word, Reid has recently published his fourth novel, Blank Spaces, maintains the blog ireid.blogspot.com and regularly contributes to The Lutheran magazine.