As someone who has a penchant for the new, novel, and exciting, it is torture when life feels ho-hum. Anxiety begins to grow in me, and I start to wonder, Is this it? Is this all that there is? If the anxiety continues unchecked, I find myself spiraling out of control, trying to find new and interesting projects to take on and then impulsively beginning them without stopping to evaluate whether it’s necessary or helpful to me or anyone else around me.
What often drives my impulsiveness is a fear that I’m going to miss out, that I’m deficient in some way, or that I have to prove my worth to God and others. I’m afraid that my life or efforts aren’t enough, and YOLO becomes the driving mentality in my life.
Psalm 27 is a helpful reminder to me that I’m not going to miss out on anything. A few of the verses in particular soothe my anxious spirit:
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid? . . .
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling.
He will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock. . . .
I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD. (vv. 1, 4-5, 13-14)
Whether life is hard or simply ho-hum, I’m urged in these verses to wait—to be strong and wait for the Lord.
Waiting is a part of life that we will never escape. Whether it is waiting to graduate from college, waiting to hear back about a job interview, or waiting for “the one,” we will always be waiting for something. But Scripture reminds us that there is nothing to be afraid of in the waiting: not rejection, disappointment, boredom, the unknown, or even people who seem to hold our futures in their hands. The Lord is our light and salvation; he is the one in whom we wait.
As I’ve waited on the Lord in many different situations over the years, I’ve been learning to temper my anxiety and impulsiveness by channeling the energy in positive ways. I take a walk instead of checking Facebook. I choose to serve someone, making a meal for a sick friend or new mom. I put on worship music and clean my house, choosing to prayerfully practice gratitude rather than letting my anxious thoughts dominate me.
And I’ve discovered that in the waiting and the pain are opportunities for God to make us into something new. Through Jesus our hearts are able to change from carrying bitterness and anxiety to holding gratitude and hope. We find that we will see the goodness of the Lord before we die, in whatever form that takes—whether in seasons of plenty or in want, and whether we are disappointed or triumphant.
Wait on the Lord—he is present in the waiting. Be strong and take courage. Your life, your future, and your dreams are in his hands.