May 8, 2023
Growing Patience in the Mud
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry (Psalm 40:1 NIV).
Friend to Friend
Recently I saw a beautiful timelapse video. It began with placing a bulb in the ground and moving through every stage, from growing roots to peeking through the ground, then developing leaves. The buds formed, and ultimately, the flower petals bloomed. From seed to perfect blooms didn’t happen overnight. It took 83 days—almost an entire season of the year. To reach the premium point of completion, progress took place. Progress requires patience.
“Whatever you pray for, don’t pray for patience!” Perhaps you’ve heard that expression or even repeated it to a friend. My mom may have told me that once or twice when it was her turn to juggle a houseful of teenagers. But, of course, she was joking. Sort of. Typically we don’t associate prayer and patience as cohabiting attributes that promote growth. Instead, they seem to have contrasting characteristics, and waiting is often considered “doing nothing.” Until, however, we examine today’s key verse.
Psalm 40 is a song of David that begins with that dirty little word, “waited,” followed by the word “patiently.” Gasp! This activity of waiting patiently exists? Who does this? In my mind, I picture a calm, cool, and collected individual sipping a cup of tea with a pinky in the air. Indeed, there was no toe-tapping and no tears of anguish.
Except that David followed, “I waited patiently for the Lord” with “he turned to me and heard my cry.” David was waiting patiently, but he was also praying fervently. David’s wait wasn’t empty and void of activity; he was busy asking the Lord for his needs, which were significant. In Psalm 40:2, we learn that David was in a slimy pit. He was sinking fast. Whether drowning in sorrow, pain, or depression, he knew he needed God to pull him out of the mud even though he was waiting for growth. So he asked.
When slime covered his boots, he hit his knees.
God answered David’s prayer at the exact right moment. Friend, he will do the same for you. His timing is never less than perfect; his ear is never more than a call away.
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (Psalm 40:3).
Dear God, when the process seems long, provide a fresh dose of patience to embrace all You have for me, no matter how deep the mud. May my heart be tuned to Your purpose and plan in every season. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What kind of patience have you lacked in the mud? What has helped you remember to pray as you wait on the Lord? Share in the comments!
More from the Girlfriends
Rachel’s Beautiful 31 Days of Prayers for the Heart prayer cards make the perfect reminder to pray before, during, and after crises. “These cards are spot on when I can’t find the words.”—Savannah
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