Most of us want salvation now. We want to be secure, we want to be affirmed, we want pleasure and peace and calm. But faith is called faith and trust is called trust because in many ways, life is about waiting for salvation. The psalms are full of people in real life situations who cry out to God for salvation- effective immediately! But in the moment of their circumstance, they quickly realize that they must wait.
For some reason, God leaves them dangling on the edge of uncertainty and expectancy. For some reason, most of the time God does not microwave us up out of our trouble. God is not a zappable-frozen-food kind of savior. God simmers and cuts and stokes and chops and heats and spices for hours and hours… preparing the banquet meal. God has us wait, grow hungry for him, struggling with the tension of grumbling and growling in our bowels and the deep breaths required of patience. Meanwhile, the aroma and flavors of
God’s preparations begin to fill the world. Our senses know God is
doing something and we can hear God the master chef humming away enjoying
the beauty of his work. But while we wait, we can grow irritable- weary of lacking self-pleasure. So we grow tempted to solve the problem ourselves through a bag of spiritual sugar-cookies or some super-sized-fast-food-greasy-fries… of course, in the process ruining our appetite for the good meal to come.
What we do in the wait is of interest to God. We have been invited to sit at the Table and dine with the Chef. But can we wait? He blows the aromas of his promise to us often… and daily God brings us his wooden ladle with a pre-taste of what is to come. "I love it!" we each exclaim. "Can I have it now!" we salivate, growing more thirsty for God’s food. "Not just yet," says God. "All in good time," he says. God convinces us that the meal to come is going to be amazing- even though we can’t see it yet. In our anxiety, in our pain, in our impatience and grumbling… can we wait for the meal?
I love this next part of Psalm 119. The author has written 160 verses of faith… and is still actively waiting in trust of God’s coming promise.
161 Powerful people harass me without cause,
but my heart trembles only at your word.
162 I rejoice in your word
like one who discovers a great treasure.
163 I hate and abhor all falsehood,
but I love your instructions.
164 I will praise you seven times a day
because all your regulations are just.
165 Those who love your instructions have great peace
and do not stumble.
166 I long for your rescue, Lord,
so I have obeyed your commands.
167 I have obeyed your laws,
for I love them very much.
168 Yes, I obey your commandments and laws
because you know everything I do.