“I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.”- Psalm 40:1-3
When I was in my late teens, I had the privilege of being the organist for Sunday worship at a Gothic-style Lutheran church on the south side of Chicago. The day before I rehearsed with Joe Sample, a church member who would be singing a solo during the service. Joe had been a singer for WGN radio in the 1930s. His chosen selection was “The Holy City”, a Victorian religious ballad dating from 1892. As Joe’s booming baritone voice reached a crescendo, the words “Hosanna in the highest” cascaded down the stone walls. His magnificent rendition was anchored by the heart and soul of his steadfast faith, each word his personalized expression of hope.
Driven by anger, fear, frustration, and shame following our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, we find ourselves thrust into a physical and spiritual wilderness. We ostensibly know that we can’t go back to our previous environs, yet we have no idea how to go forward. And so we wander. And wait. The song of hope and life God once placed in our hearts has been muted. However, waiting and listening for the sound of the Lord’s voice is not a static stance, as Max Lucado explains in You’ll Get Through This:
“To wait biblically is not . . . inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief.”
The change God is working in us while we wait is as important as the change we are waiting for. As we walk with Jesus in the midst of our woundedness, something in us will begin to awaken and we will begin to sing again, embracing a future vastly different from what we had imagined:
Sing for the night is o’er!
Hosanna in the highest!
Hosanna for evermore!”