I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God.Psalm 38:15
This Psalm was written by King David at a time of great distress. He realised that the physical pain and emotional/mental distress that he was feeling had its source in a combination of factors: there were those who were unjustly seeking his harm and downfall out of spite and antagonism – perhaps even because of his godly wisdom and God-centred worldview (verses 12, 19-20); and there is his acute consciousness of his own sin and failures which have contributed to his suffering (verses 1-8, 16-18).
I think we all find it easy to relate to him in this(?). I therefore find great help and comfort in how he went about dealing with what was going on – throwing himself on God’s faithfulness and mercy and patiently TRUSTING and WAITING.
We are not told that David was the author of the ‘Song of Ascent’ in Psalm 130, but the mood of that psalm gives us reason to think that he was. There the Psalmist says, “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.” (verses 5-6).
This gives us an added dimension to what it means to ‘wait for the Lord’. During my National Service Training in 1959, I had to do guard duty on the 8-hour night shift, and in the solitude and darkness of the wee, small hours in the bush around the army camp, I discovered what it meant to ‘wait for the morning’. The other aspect of the message of Psalm 130 is that the watchman KNOWS that the morning WILL come; our faithful, reliable Creator has designed the Universe in such a way that waiting for the morning is not a ‘fingers-crossed’ sort of waiting, but a sure-and-certain hope. This is why David can say to the Lord, his God, in Psalm 38, “you WILL answer me’.
When we are feeling discouraged and depressed, for whatever reason, are we able to adopt a positive, life-sustaining attitude of WAITING for the Lord our God?