“Be patient with me,” my husband likes to say, to which I like to reply, “I am being patient–now, hurry up!” I don’t know anyone who likes waiting, but I have met those who are patient. As a teacher, I may be patient with my students; I do even muster up some patience for my husband occasionally. However, I have almost no patience for my Lord. Psalm 130 reveals to me that I am not alone in this battle with impatience.
“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice!” Do you notice that the psalmist is in “the depths”? This gives a picture of him having had a long journey downward. I doubt this is the first time on his journey that he is calling out for help, but now he wants the Lord to know “Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!” In other words, “Hello, up there? I’m pretty low, down here? Can you hear my voice?!” He’s already been waiting a long time for mercy–desperation is setting in.
I know that feeling. I like to think that I have been patient and that I have waited on my Lord enough already! But, just like the psalmist admits his iniquity in verse 3, I, too, am faced with my impatience. Thankfully, though, “with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.” (v. 4) Through Jesus, our Father and Lord has a means to forgive us, a means to give us His lavish mercy. And what is the psalmists response to that gift of forgiveness but an appropriate fear of Him. Who is this Father of ours that has the means and gall to forgive us? What else could we do but, with the psalmist, decide that (impatient or not) all that is left to do is to “wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.”
What are you waiting for in the Lord? To finally overcome that thorn in your flesh? For Him to answer your cry for help? Maybe for him just to show up–Come quickly and renew this mess, O Lord! The posture of the one who hopes in the Lord is one of waiting “more than watchmen for the morning.” (v.6) Let’s wait because “with the Lord there is steadfast love”; let’s wait because “with him is plentiful redemption.” (v. 7) And, you know what? He “will redeem Israel” (which now includes us sinners and gentiles! Romans 3: 28-30) “from all [our] iniquities.”
I praise the Lord for we are waiting on someone we can trust, and let’s face it, whether we can muster up patience or not, we will still be waiting. Let’s remember who we are waiting on. He forgives us for our impatience (and all other shortcomings) and promises that He’ll be working in us to make us more like Himself. Surely He is patient and can make room in our hearts for patience as well. That is my prayer for me and for you! “O Israel, hope in the LORD!”