The Psalm of the Impatient

Today is one of those days when impatience seems to be getting the best of me. I’ve prayed for something but have not yet seen the answer with my own eyes. I’ve proclaimed my trust that God will answer, but nonetheless impatience is knocking at the door. Doubt is incessantly ringing the doorbell, and I’m having trouble not opening the door and letting it in.

As has become my habit in such times, I turned to the Psalms. I went to and searched the Psalms for the phrase “how long.” This is, after all, the question of the impatient. How long, Lord, until You answer my prayer? It’s kind of like the whining kid in the backseat on a long car trip, “How long till we get there?” comes the question as you back out of the driveway, then again a mile down the road, and it’s repeated at intervals of 3 to 5 miles. It’s going to be a long trip!

Only now I’m the kid in the backseat of my life. So to the Psalms I go, and I find this gem:

Psalm 13

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

 1 O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever?
      How long will you look the other way?
 2 How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul,
      with sorrow in my heart every day?
      How long will my enemy have the upper hand?

 3 Turn and answer me, O Lord my God!
      Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.
 4 Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!”
      Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. 

Wow, how is that for whining? “Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.” Makes me realize just how melodramatic my incessant prayers must sound to God. But He put this Psalm here for a reason. He knew we (I) would have days like this when impatience threatens to take over and cause me to just give up.

Then I come to the last stanza of the Psalm, and I am reminded of Who is in charge. I am reminded of Who I trust. I am reminded to go to the door and tell doubt and impatience to go away. Like the third little pig in his house of brick, if I don’t open the door the big bad wolf of doubt can’t get in. So I say to them “not by the hair of my chinny chin chin, I won’t let you in.” Then I read them the end of the Psalm so they’ll know they have no chance of winning.

5 But I trust in your unfailing love.
      I will rejoice because you have rescued me.
 6 I will sing to the Lord
      because he is good to me.

His love is unfailing! The road trip might be long and winding, but He will get me to the destination. He took the long trip from His throne to a manger and then to the cross so that I would know always of His unfailing love.

This is why I love the Psalms. I go there looking for words to use to complain to God, to cry out “how long, O Lord,” and I find words of comfort and faith. And so I will sing to the Lord because He has been and always will be good to me.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


6 Responses

  1. He is so good to me, for making me wait.
    I got to pause and look for things to appreciate.
    The moment I choose not to, it isn’t good.
    I start to hate myself and God won’t approve that, right?

    • Rea, Thank you for the wonderful comment/poem! It’s good to remember that the best things in life are worth waiting for. If you take the turkey out of the oven before it’s done, it’s really not even edible. Peace and Merry Christmas, Linda

  2. Linda,

    You could very well strike out the word ‘Impatient’ and put ‘Ann’. “Restore the sparkle to my eyes or I’ll die”? … I haven’t exactly said that but I’ve come pretty close!

    How long? Why me? Why not? How could you? But you promised … yeh, now I see how annoying I could sound… So thankful that God does not hold my sins against me.

    Thank you Linda, for baring your thoughts and helping us to remember Who we belong to. His timing is perfection. We know that but we still want the deliverance now.

    Deb, thanks for your comments. I’m getting the feeling you were listening to my prayers…. Seems sometimes God deliberately takes us away from what’s familiar and comfortable to teach us a thing or two about trusting Him.

    Waiting on God,

  3. Linda, this could be me as well. So much I love about this. How you went to the Psalms for help. How you let that work in you. How He reassures us with His own long and painful journey, that He still cares, He’s still there, and He’s got us covered.
    I would take the girls on vacation to my mom’s every year, by myself. It was painful to me. Life was painful. This one year, He really broke into this time. I was driving back home, sleep deprived, had to use the bathroom, and He was using all of it to speak to me. I asked Him if there were any short cuts to what I was going through in life. And like me being extremely uncomfortable and just not seeing a good place to stop, I also came into the city where every light was red and the speed limits were down to 35. He has such a sense of humor. Okaaaay. So I gathered it was going to be slow going and not very comfortable!! And it has been! But, He’s been with me through it all.
    Sorry, this was a little long and maybe just too weird. ha! Like me! Thank you Linda, for your faithfulness to share and be open about Jesus in your life.

    • Deb, Thank you! It’s not too long, or too weird, but just what I needed. When we get home from long trips and walk in the house, we all say together, “Good old homie, good old homie, good old homie.” This journey is sometimes slow going and uncomfortable, but one day we will arrive at home and Jesus will say with us, “Good old home!” Peace, Linda

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