It is useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? (Psalm 127:2)
I’m in the express-lane at Wal-Mart. I have two items, and I’m in a hurry. That makes no difference in my situation unfortunately. There is a lady in front of me with a cart full of groceries. Why didn’t the check out lady tell her that this was the express lane? It must not have occurred to her. Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between 12 items and 120. Oh well, I am a patient person, right? This is okay. I’ll be out of here and speeding on my way in a few minutes. Oh good, the checker is done scanning her abundant mass of provisions. It’s almost my turn. Hold on a second … the lady is pulling out her wallet, and she isn’t grabbing a debit card. She is grabbing a handful of legal tender and they are not large bills. Ones. She is going to pay for her $70 tab with one-dollar bills! I almost faint from the rapid rush of blood to my head. This is a nightmare. Killing time is an idiom that I am familiar with, but this is chronometric genocide.
You know exactly how I felt at that moment because we live in a culture of urgency. We are constantly in a hurry. We always need to be someplace other than where we are, and we need to be there right now. Let me impart to you what has become an obscured truth in our culture: Activity is not better than rest. We get home from a long days work, and we might as well punch an extra-curricular activity timecard because we don’t pause from the bustle until our head hits the pillow. The only problem then is that we stare at the ceiling with blood-shot eyes, wondering what it’s like to sleep.
Here are a few phrases from the Psalms that have been catching my eye lately. “Wait for the Lord.” “Wait patiently for Him.” “I wait for you, Oh Lord.” “For you I will wait all day.” “I wait for the Lord more than the watchmen wait for the morning.” “I wait patiently for the Lord.” “I wait in silence for God.” “Those who wait for the Lord will inherit the land.” (Psalms 27, 37, 25, 25, 130, 40, 62, 37 respectively.) And from Isaiah: “Those who wait on the Lord will find new strength” (40:31).
I don’t have to contrive a complex argument to convince you that the Bible addresses the idea of waiting. It deals with it candidly. Part of our spiritual, and even physical, lives must be spent in waiting. Don’t get in your car and head to the express-lane at Wal-Mart. Sit down before the Lord and wait on Him. Our strength will not be renewed on our way to work or between appointments. We most affectively feel the power of God in us when we patiently sit in silence before his throne.
The next time you feel rushed or overwhelmed, remind yourself of God’s words which tell us to rest in Him. Turn off the TV, the radio, or whatever distraction is before you just now, and spend some real time in silence, waiting on the Lord.
Father, show me how to fully rest in You. Keep me from getting caught up in the busyness of life and the fast-paced world I live in.