"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
-Psalm 27:14, NIV
So, it is the morning after the elections and I am waiting. It is not easy to wait for the final results of something that seems so important and which will have great implications for our world. No one really likes waiting, at least no one I know of -- certainly not me. However, the words above are not a proverb on the benefits of waiting in general. No, they remind us to "wait for the Lord." Two times we are reminded to "wait for the Lord."
What is it exactly we're waiting for? We know for whom it is we are waiting, but what is it we are waiting for God to do? My sense is that it depends. It depends on what's going on in our lives. It depends on what God is trying to do in our world. Much of the time we don't know exactly what we are waiting for, but we are still told to wait -- which in itself is an act of faith and trust. If we do not have faith in God and trust in God's ability to complete God's plans in the world, then we tend to go ahead with our own plans. Maybe we think we can't wait. Or perhaps we think that somebody needs to do something, and if God isn't doing it on our schedule, then we choose not to wait and we barge ahead on our own.
The Psalm doesn't promise a particular outcome resulting from our waiting. But it does encourage us to be strong and to take heart. The word "encourage" literally means "to take heart." The French word coeur means "heart." Being strong and taking heart require something from us. And yet the more we do it, the better we become at being strong and taking heart. Like physical exercise, it builds up the muscles of encouragement. So, however these elections turn out, I want to encourage us all to be strong and take heart -- trusting in God who is faithful, loving, and at work in our world.