Dr. Rachel Coleman
Waiting. As I’ve been in Mexico for the past several days, I’ve been thinking a lot about waiting. The country is experiencing a radical reduction in the amount of gasoline that the government is releasing for distribution to local gas stations. People have lined up for hours, waiting—for a tanker to arrive, for the gas station to open, for their car to make it to the front of the line before the limited supply is gone. You can imagine the desperate quality of the wait for those who depend on driving to earn their living, as well as the overwhelming disappointment when the long wait is fruitless and the supply is used up before your turn comes.
Waiting. A key word in the Book of Psalms, which 18 pastors and leaders are studying this week and next here at the Bible Seminary of Mexico. The thing about biblical waiting, however, is that it is inseparable—linguistically and theologically—from hoping. The act of waiting and the decision to hope are both rooted in the character of God. This morning we spent time with Psalms 42 and 43, in which the language of faith alternates between expressions of lament over the status quo and the resolute decision to wait/hope in God.
Waiting. I’m guessing that as 2019 is rushing towards the end of its first month, many of you are waiting on God to act. Maybe your waiting is already into the days, weeks, months, or years category, and you are clinging tenaciously to hope that God will step in to transform the status quo that just doesn’t seem to match his promises. Maybe it is the job that hasn’t materialized, or the relationship that hasn’t healed, or the illness that hasn’t been cured, or some ridiculously impossible challenge that hasn’t been conquered. Dear brothers and sisters, hold fast! Don’t hesitate to lay your lament before God, because the very act of speaking it to him expresses your hope-filled faith that he will indeed act. In the midst of your waiting and lamenting, may you say with the psalmist: “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God [wait on God], for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Ps. 42:5, 11; 43:5, NIV).