Courage in the Long Wait

November 8, 2021

“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14). This verse is taped to my bathroom mirror. I see it when I’m brushing my teeth or putting on makeup. Recently, something interesting stood out to me. Sandwiched in between the instruction to wait on the Lord is a call to be of good courage.

I paused, toothbrush in hand. All along I had been focusing on the promise of a strengthened heart, a promise I’m very grateful for. But I had missed the important reminder to have courage while I wait.

We humans start out in the waiting with vigor. After all, how long will God really make us wait for something we view as so important? Surely, He sees how much we need a loved one to come to salvation, a longed-for child, a good report from the doctor, or fill in the blank. Our plan and timing must be His plan and timing, we think. It might just take a little waiting, and a little waiting is bearable.

What happens when the days stretch into weeks and then months and maybe even years? This is where the need for courage comes in because we are people who can quickly lose heart and hope. Verses like Psalm 27:14 show us that our compassionate Savior knows our propensity to despair in the waiting. He uses verses like this to remind us that our best resource of courage in waiting is found in Him, through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship with other believers.

I have a leather cuff that bears these words: “Courage, dear heart.” The quote is from C. S. Lewis’ book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Aslan says it to Lucy in one of the darkest parts of the book. It’s one of my favorite quotes. I wear the quote to remind myself to have courage in the midst of the waiting God has ordained for me, and because I need the reminder that waiting takes courage. Whatever you are waiting for, no matter how long this season has been, I pray you have courage, dear heart.

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