“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways . . .” – Psalm 37:7
How many of us have made the mistake of turning around and leaving the dock just before our ship came in? I certainly have. In my younger days I was often in a big hurry, attempting to fast-track my career and move ahead of the pack. Chalk it up to ambition, but in retrospect my haste sometimes caused more setbacks than advancements, such as the time I uprooted my family for an “opportunity” in another city. What I thought would surely lead to a giant leap in my career, and our family fortunes, turned out to be a near disaster. Thankfully – and literally by the grace of God – my mistake got redeemed and all turned out well. Looking back, though, I now realize that if I had waited patiently instead of leaving the dock my ship was about to come in anyway, and without subjecting my family and myself to the struggles of a near disaster.
If there is any consolation to this story it is in knowing that I am not the first person to ever jump the gun and mistakenly take things in my own hands. Thousands of years ago there lived an elderly couple by the name of Abraham and Sarah who remained childless. But despite being beyond childbearing age, God appeared to Abraham promising him more descendants than the stars in the heavens (talk about a promise of your ship coming in!). Years passed, though, and Abraham and Sarah were still without a child. Finally, out of desperation Sarah offered her maidservant Hagar to Abraham to bear a child, a son named Ishmael, so there would be a descendant. And what was consequence of that, but hard feelings, a jealous dispute between Hagar and Sarah, and ultimately a split-up in the family. Yet – literally through God’s grace – their mistake got redeemed when Sarah finally did bear a son who they named Isaac. And the rest we know is history.
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways.” How many of us have made the mistake of turning around and leaving the dock just before our ship came in? I certainly did, as did Abraham and Sarah thousands of years before, hard lessons to remind us that things work out best when we are patient and wait for the Lord. Indeed, in this very moment we are being assured our ship is coming in soon to rescue us from COVID-19. Oh, that we remain patient, and restrain ourselves a little longer from leaving the dock too soon.