I have been spending most of my quiet time lately in Psalms. It seems that no matter what I read, I keep coming back to Psalm 27:13-14:
I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalm 27:13 is a verse that has encouraged my heart for a very long time. After years of waiting and with two babies in heaven, the promise that I will see goodness in the land of the living is a truth that I often cling to. However, verse 14 isn’t something I have thought about much until very recently.
It makes sense to me that right after David writes he believes that he will see the goodness of the Lord, he says “Wait for the Lord”. However, why did he say “be strong and let your heart take courage” after he said wait?
That question has been swirling around in my head for the past several weeks. What does seeing the goodness of the Lord and waiting have to do with being strong and having courage?
When I was 17, a woman who was like a second mom to me was diagnosed with cancer. Sherry was a prayer warrior, an encourager, an amazing wife and an awesome mom. Her cancer shook me to my core, but it also taught me so many lessons that continue to shape me. I spent a lot of time at her house, just soaking up time with her and her children during my high school years.
Sherry believed in her core that God would heal her of her cancer. On one particularly hard day, I remember asking Sherry how she could remain so hopeful that God would heal her when she was in so much pain. Sherry responded simply that faith meant some days, she would jump out of bed knowing she was healed and would walk in that healing without any doubt. Other days faith meant she would have to remind herself with every breath she took that she was healed. “I’m healed. I’m healed. I’m healed.” was like a iPod on repeat in the back of her brain.
That simple idea has stuck with me ever sense.
Waiting and loss is hard. It’s so easy for me to give into fear and spin out of control. What if I can never get pregnant again? What if I can never carry a baby full term? What if we lose another baby? Will grief consume me? The “what if’s” will take over if I let them. However, just as Sherry believed she would be healed, I believe that I will carry babies full term. I think the Lord knew waiting would be that way and that is exactly why Psalm 27:14 is in the bible.
Google defines “strong” as the ability to withstand great force or pressure and “courage” as the ability to do something that frightens one.
Waiting without giving into fear requires me to withstand great pressure (strength). Making the decision to choose faith instead of allowing myself to go down the rabbit trail of what if’s isn’t an easy task. Choosing to believe that I will get pregnant again and that I carry that baby full term no matter what the world tells me also requires me to face those fears and what if’s straight on (courage).
So what do I do when I feel like I am not strong and not courageous? Isaiah 41: 13 promises this:
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you!
The beautiful thing about waiting is that I’m not doing it alone. The Lord is right beside me with each step. When I feel like I can’t be strong, the Lord will help me. When I feel like I can’t be courageous the Lord makes me brave.
I believe the more I focus on those truths, the easier it becomes to believe it in my core. Lately, it feels like my faith is small. I am having more and more days that I have to constantly remind myself that I will be healed. My iPod in the back of my head constantly plays “I will get pregnant again. I will carry babies full term.” However, I know that continuing to push play on that Ipod helps grow my faith. Not every day will be like this. I trust that the more I work on believing that I will be healed, the easier it will become. I trust that soon, I will have more and more days were I jump out of bed believing the truth…. no iPod needed.