My Soul Waits
This past year has been a hard one. There have been overt things: health scares with our children, moving cities, walking with people in our community through suffering and loss. There has also been a subtle undercurrent of heaviness within.
Have you ever had a season or chapter of life where feelings are hard to come by? Not every or any feeling, but those steadying feelings.…affection, expectation, contentment; the ones in your soul pointed upward towards God; the warm-fuzzies of assurance?
If you resonate at all with what I’m talking about, perhaps you also know the tendency to avoid God in those times. I can sing that “He is my refuge” along with the Psalmist on the bright, summer days of my soul; but when the cold and dark of winter begins, I don’t warm myself by the fire of those promises. And maybe that’s an indicator of my lack of belief that – He is my refuge in times of trouble—is true, along with a thousand other forgotten promises in suffering.
It’s almost as if you just want to put your head down, muster up enough grit and endurance, and just get through. And in all my forgetting, the notion of stopping to rest in Him—with Him—under the “shadow of His wings”—in the comfort of His Spirit—feels like a waste of time or worse, tee-up for disappointment.
But, David suffered. David wandered. He knew way longer and deeper seasons of danger and grief and isolation than I have! And when I read his prayers, his songs in the midst of those dark periods of his life, I see he reminds his soul to… wait. To take refuge. To remember. Disappointment wasn’t lurking behind every hope and his time wasn't spent frivolously.
And so, through the Word, I’ve been reminded by the Spirit on those hard days and in those moments that feel impossible to get past … that there must be something I haven’t grasped, haven’t leaned into, haven’t tried and tested quite yet. Maybe all of my avoidance and “being okay” has caused me to forfeit a grace and peace I would’ve known otherwise.
I was about a week out from heading into the studio for this record and was having one of those mornings when anxiety, sadness, and unbelief all seemed to be weights on my shoulders that I couldn’t shake off. I turned PBS on for my girls (because sometimes TV is what you call a “common grace”!) and sat down at our piano (which I am not good at playing!) and began to cry, pray, and sing.
There had been a melody floating in and out of my head for weeks. On God alone my soul waits… and then I remembered singing on another hard day, sitting on my bedroom floor crying and praying: Your praise is an ocean; my troubles are a puddle…
And then, right there in our home, right in the middle of my pain, breaking the silence and interrupting my doubt, a rest came. It was a rest that only comes from Him and it is marked by freedom from circumstances. It has the fragrance of hope because of knowing the One who sows my (present) tears and brings about a (future, faith-seen) harvest of shouts of joy.
Friends, this year I have called on Him from the deep, and He has answered me. And as that path gets worn down with each season of life, He proves Himself faithful. Oh, may we believe and pray these words when feelings are few:
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.