No, I’m not talking about the Senate runoff in Georgia. I’m talking about Psalm 90, the only psalm attributed to Moses.
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, or as a watch in the night (Psalm 90:4). In contrast with the timelessness of God, which this gorgeous psalm so clearly establishes, you and I are left with a vivid reminder. The durations of our lives – whether or not we reach “old age” by our standards – are exceptionally short. Against the backdrop of eternity, my earthly lifespan is a drop in the bucket, and so is yours.
Sometimes we think: “Why hasn’t God done anything about my trouble? Why is He waiting to deliver me from this?” I’m sure the Israelites trapped in Egypt felt the same way. Same with those who lived between the last Old Testament prophet and the birth of Christ. Hundreds of years of waiting, over multiple generations, while “nothing” happens. Or so it seems to us.
But the reality is, when it comes to God, “nothing” is never happening! (Please pardon my double negative.) God is always perfectly orchestrating everything for our good and for His glory. The Everlasting God can afford to wait, you see, and in fact, His “waiting” is an outworking of His kindness and patience toward you and me. We may not understand how His love is on display while we wait, but it is. Always. For us, every second of life is a gift, so we don’t want to be charged with wasting time – we have a lot to do while we’re here! But, for our God who orders all things well, no time is ever wasted. Even our suffering – you know, when we’re waiting on God to change our circumstances, but He seemingly isn’t – is producing qualities of eternal worth and beauty in us. And in others.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that Psalm 90 is all fluffy and easy to swallow. Quite the opposite in fact. Yes, we learn who God is, and who we aren’t – but that doesn’t mean that our struggles feel automatically easier. So we live for a brief time, and then we get “swept away as with a flood” … all is well … No! This is not easy. This is not simplistic. This doesn’t wrap up all our troubles with bright packaging and a pretty ribbon.
But the wonder of this psalm comes in the last few verses, where we learn what to ask of our great God while we’re waiting. Check it out. While you and I are pilgrims here, God wants us to petition Him for certain specific things. Things which can come only from Him. We can ask for His wisdom. We can ask for His mercy. We can ask for tangible reminders of His steadfast love. We can ask for a spirit of joy, and a heart of gladness. We can ask that our lives prove profitable for Christ’s kingdom. We can ask for His sustaining power, for us and for our children. We can even ask for God’s favor: that He “establish the work of our hands!”
In fact, friends, we ought to ask the Lord regularly for all of these things. We think that we’re doing all of the waiting, but God is waiting on us to ask. As we seek the Lord for all of these great things, we’re actively waiting. Charles Spurgeon said it like this: “Keep the posture of an upright man, ready for action, expecting further orders, cheerfully and patiently awaiting the directing voice; and it will not be long ere God shall say to you, as distinctly as Moses said it to the people of Israel, ‘Go forward.’ If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.” Amen.
I know, I know: sometimes it’s harder to wait than to work. But you and I must wait hopefully. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is the only proof we need that God is for us! Even when we don’t understand what He’s doing, or why it’s taking so long for Him to get it done, we can wait for Him full of resurrection hope! Think about it like this: God is absolutely committed to giving us absolutely everything that we would ask for if we knew everything that He knew. That thought humbles me, and thrills me, all at the same time.
Too close to call? No way. God is too close not to call!
Our Sovereign God, 2021 is here, and we’re calling on nobody but You …