I’m usually not one to ask the Lord for a word or phrase for the year. I didn’t even do it this year, but He gave me this phrase anyways.
At first, I wondered why the “expectantly” and not just “wait.” Then I realized, I have the tendency to lack faith in the waiting. I say things like, “Sure, I’ll wait on You, God…but You probably won’t answer me.” Or, “Yeah, yeah, wait for God’s timing. To Him a second is like a thousand years…so I’ll just be over here getting old while He responds.” How crazy is that?!
In December, I began praying very specifically over a few different situations. And even though I have evidence of God responding, example after example of Him showing up (albeit sometimes when I least expect it), I felt at a loss for how to hear His wisdom & His voice. And wouldn’t you know, as I sat in that place, the Lord met me right where I was at.
One morning after waking up early, I opened my Bible to Psalms before my morning walk with zero expectations. There in Psalm 143, I found a kindred spirit in David. In verse one, he calls out to God, saying, “Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my plea for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!” He’s specifically asking the Lord to hear him and respond to him; he doesn’t shy away but in boldness asks for a response. In verse 7a, he even says, “Answer me quickly, O Lord! My spirit fails!” Not just asking for a response, but a quick one at that.
But in verse 5, David says something else that caught my attention. He writes, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the works of your hands.” It was there I saw some guidance in what to do while I wait: remember. When I don’t feel like the answer is coming or clear yet, I can meditate on the past faithfulness of the Lord & remain confident He will show up again.
And so, in 2021, I’m looking for God to teach me not only to wait on Him, but also to wait expectantly. I feel the pull to wait, to sit, to be still before the Lord, to not rush my time with Him but make it a non-negotiable priority. But I also feel a sense of promise in waiting: with the hope of hearing from God, of getting renewed vision & purpose & passion, of seeing new things happen & growth occur. I can trust the Lord will allow seeds sown to reap a harvest; to give me joy amid difficult circumstances; and to challenge me to grow despite my doubts.
I’ll leave you with a quote from a Bible study I did last year, and then a poem I wrote about waiting expectantly on the Lord. Here’s to waiting with hope in 2021, friends.
“Just because we don’t always see God’s activity doesn’t mean there is a lack of activity.”Lysa Terkeurst, Trustworthy study