March 10, 2023
Willing and Waiting
CARRIE ZEILSTRA, COMPEL Training Member
Lee en español
"Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD." Psalm 27:13-14 (NLT)
My favorite photo of me with my son is far from the best picture of the two of us. It's not Instagram-worthy or even very flattering.
But whenever I see this particular picture, I remember the moment it was taken - childlike giggles tumbling out of me, tears of joy caught in my eyelashes, and my heart feeling light in that moment. To me, this is a picture of God's goodness.
Nearly two years before my husband snapped that picture, we had experienced the loss of our infant daughter.
Grief overwhelmed me. My family would never be complete on this side of heaven, so I couldn't imagine happiness on this earthly soil. In an effort to make sense of it all, I formed a belief that God's goodness must be reserved for heaven. That life on this earth was meant to be survived like a prison sentence.
In the months following the loss of my daughter, God drew me to the psalms in Scripture. I craved the real and raw writings of poets like David, who lamented to the Lord yet also chose to worship Him. I felt my soul connect with David. But then I got to these verses:
"Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD" (Psalm 27:13-14).
How could he make such a claim? Was this true just for him? Was this promise of seeing the Lord's goodness on this side of heaven meant for me too?
With a doubt-filled spirit, I wrote out these two verses and asked God to prove Himself. Show me Your goodness, Lord, I prayed. Each day, I read the verses out loud. There were days my voice held a hint of sarcasm.
But little by little, the goodness of the Lord started to show up. In my son's giggles. In the arms of my husband. In the beauty of creation. In moments of authentic conversation over coffee.
I started to realize the Lord's goodness had been surrounding me all along. Perhaps David wasn't claiming a change in his circumstances. He was willing his heart to see what was already there. And he was waiting for God to display His goodness again. Willing and waiting.
These verses started to chip away at the negativity of my soul. I started to be willing to see the Lord's goodness and even anticipate it.
God's goodness does exist on earth because God is good. Despite my circumstances, my hurts and my fickle feelings.
Whenever I walk through a difficult season, my pessimistic mind often anticipates the worst. But the Holy Spirit uses David's words, and my favorite photo, to remind me that even in hard times, this side of eternity is filled with God's goodness.
I need only to be willing and waiting to see it.
Father, You are good. You called all that You created "good." Help the eyes of my heart to see Your goodness in the world around me. Hold me close while I wait for the good You are working out through all of my circumstances. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 23, "The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever." (NLT)
Which words or phrases in Psalm 23 show that David was willing and waiting to see God's goodness?
Are you struggling to see God's goodness in your current circumstances? If so, please know you are not alone. Let's encourage each other with the goodness God is revealing in our lives. Share in the comments a few ways God has shown His goodness in your life. Remember, His goodness can show up in the smallest hints of light in our darkness.
© 2023 by Carrie Zeilstra. All rights reserved.