Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Don't worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. (Psalm 37:7)
Have you ever had to wait longer than you expected to see a promise from God come to pass? How about a lot longer? You feel confident you heard from him, but things just don’t seem to be falling into place as quickly as you had hoped (or prayed)! Psalm 37:7 tells us to “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.” When we are living under a promise from God, we are living in a holy place. Much like the formless earth in Genesis 1, the Spirit hovers over our world and our circumstances, working out our future. There is supernatural potential all around us. But if we falter in our faith that God is working everything out for us in the supernatural, we may begin to strive to make the natural circumstances around us match up to the promise God has given us. We may compare our situation to others’ and worry about why it is working out for them and not for us. We may be filled with anxiety as we worry that other people’s actions will foil the plans God has for us. This sort of worry and anxiety can consume us and motivate us to take actions that may, in fact, cause us to wait even longer.
Genesis 24 tells the story of how Abraham’s servant found a wife for Isaac. Abraham instructed the servant to go to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife for Isaac amongst his relatives, as he didn’t want Isaac to marry any of the local Canaanite women. When the servant arrived in the village where Abraham’s brother Nahor had settled, he asked God to give him a sign when he had located the right woman to be Isaac’s wife. “O LORD, God of my master,” he prayed. “Give me success and show kindness to my master, Abraham. Help me to accomplish the purpose of my journey. See, here I am, standing beside this spring, and the young women of the village are coming out to draw water. This is my request. I will ask one of them for a drink. If she says, ‘Yes, certainly, and I will water your camels, too!'—let her be the one you have appointed as Isaac's wife. By this I will know that you have shown kindness to my master” (Genesis 24:12-14).
The scripture says that even as the servant was finishing his prayer, Rebekah arrived and brought him some water, offering to water his camels as well. Even before the prayer was finished, God seemed to be answering it! But in response to this, look what the scripture says next. “The servant watched her in silence, wondering whether or not she was the one the LORD intended him to meet” (v. 21). He didn’t jump to conclusions. He must have remembered Abraham’s request to find his relatives. Even though Rebekah had performed the sign the servant asked for, he still had to wait to determine whether this girl was, in fact, a relative of Abraham. He asked Rebekah about her family. When she revealed she was, in fact, the daughter of Abraham’s brother, the servant bowed down and worshipped the Lord. He said, “Praise be to the LORD, the God of my master, Abraham. The LORD has been so kind and faithful to Abraham, for he has led me straight to my master's relatives” (v. 27).
When we wait patiently on the Lord to act and to completely fulfill the promise he has given us, faith grows and we give glory to God! Jumping into the process and trying to “help” ultimately reduces the potential growth of our faith in what God can do and shortchanges God of the glory we attribute to him. Let us be still in the presence of the Lord and wait patiently for him to act today.