Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplications!

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
And in his word I hope;
My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning.
More than those who watch for the morning.
––Psalm 130:1-2, 5-6

If the first human task in the depths is to cry out, the second is to wait. We are not to wait passively but to wait with hope. Hope is an intensive form of waiting…
––Stephen Farris

Dear Friends,

Psalm 130 and Farris’s reflection on it, from my morning devotional reading, both seem very much on point right now. With little warning, we have had a great deal of waiting suddenly thrust upon us. Not that we’re just sitting around twiddling our thumbs. But if you’re like me, even if you’re busy in the midst of being confined at home, there is a sense of unanswered questions hanging over everything. How long can this go on? How bad will it be? What will it do to the plans I’ve been making?

Farris is right. In the midst of a crisis, in the depths, our first human response is to cry out, and our second is to wait. But waiting with hope is far better than waiting without hope. That might seem pretty obvious, but it can be harder than it sounds. If our normal hopes are tied to external factors over which we have no control, we become particularly vulnerable when those extenals turn sketchy. If I am hopeful because the sun is shining, I’m likely to be less hopeful when it rains. If I am hopeful because I have a substantial bank account, my hope is likely to drain away when my money does. If my hope is tied to health, how hopeful will I be if I become sick. When our hopes are pinned to things over which we have no control, our hopefulness will almost inevitably rise and fall with the tides.

That’s not to say that we have control when we hope in God. Whenever I start thinking along those lines, that old, corny, country western song starts playing in my mind. “I beg your pardon. I never promised you a rose garden.” Silly, but also true. Hoping in God is no guarantee of freedom from the trials and tribulations of life. Rather, placing our hope in God is more about trusting. Whatever may come our way, we can trust that will never be abandoned or forgotten; that even if worse comes to worst, we will not fall from grace; that “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord,” as Paul so beautifully put it.

I strongly suspect that we all have a fair amount of waiting ahead of us in the coming weeks. I invite you to consider, that the quality of your waiting will have a great deal to do with that to which your hope is attached.

Yours in Grace,
Rev. Kevin

%d bloggers like this: