“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
“Wait for the Lord . . . wait for the . . . wait for . . . wait . . . .WHOA! Hold on just a second . . . WAIT??? But it’s a “new” year – with 366 days! I’ve got places to go, things to do, things to see, people to see . . . and you want me to do what?? WAIT?? Seriously?!”
If you ask me, the whole idea of hurrying up to wait is overrated. Seriously overrated. Who came up with that oxymoron?! Maybe you’ve forgotten or maybe I haven’t mentioned it enough but I have some serious issues with ‘slow’. And that implies that hurrying up to wait isn’t exactly on my bucket list.
Monday, January 21, 2013 . . . waiting for a ride home . . . waiting on car repairs. . . waiting to rest . . . waiting to sleep rather than being made to clean the house or run up and down two flights of stairs . . . waiting for the next doctor’s appointment . . . waiting for another attempt to find infamous “collapse and scoot” veins. . . waiting for lab results. . . .
For someone who has issues with ‘slow’ and whose life seems to be in a perpetual state of ‘waiting’, the combination of wait and patient is a combination I often wish could be eradicated by the ‘delete’ button. After all, the denotation of wait patiently isn’t exactly synonymous with “slow issues”: a perpetual state of delaying action. A perpetual state of delayed action. A perpetual state of slow action. A perpetual state of no action.
Yet, the implication is waiting is equated with patience. It implies hurry up and wait is waiting patiently, patiently waiting, to wait patiently, or however one chooses to use the verb and its modifier. To wait means to stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or event.
Sigh. No. forward. movement. no. action. sit. and. twiddle. my. thumbs. When one is in a perpetual state of waiting, reading the same verb in the same sentence more than once can be, well, disheartening at the very least. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:14). Really?
As mind-boggling as it is for “Issues-with-Slow-Anemic-Fried-Processing-Delayed Brain” to comprehend, I begin to wonder . . . (my curiosity is enough to annihilate ten cats). . . . If the Psalmist uses the verb wait more than once in the same sentence, is there something more, something to ‘this’, something I should be “processing”? It’s a theory, but I figure it’s an interesting one, so I start to dig a little deeper. . . .
Is it possible . . . that the denotation of the verb and adverb might be synonymous?? Is it possible . . . that the verb wait in all it’s infinitive forms might have a different connotation??
Sometimes the best place to start is with the original text; I look up Psalm 27:14 תהילים in Hebrew:
ידקַוֵּה אֶל יְהֹוָה חֲזַק וְיַאֲמֵץ לִבֶּךָ וְקַוֵּה אֶל יְהֹוָה:
I notice a cross-reference to Psalm 130:5 & 6: I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord – more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
Well, that’s not exactly a thrilling prospect: the implication is to delay action and stay put, yet put my hope in His word. I’m so excited to wait, even more excited than a watchman waiting for the morning! Yippe-hoo?! At best, it’s a theory.
The curiosity that would kill ten cats overrides the inevitable processing delays . . . . In the Hebrew, the words waited patiently is one word, qavah (kaw-vaw’) and is more accurately translated to expect, look eagerly for, be in expectation of, hope for.
I hit the pause button for a second. “Wait, what if I switched out the English denotation of wait for the Hebrew denotation qavah?” It’s worth a try: I look eagerly for the Lord, my whole being expects Him, and in His word I put my hope. I eagerly look for the Lord – more than watchmen hope for the morning, more than watchmen expect the morning. Slowly, the psalmist’s multiple-use of a disheartening verb begins a spiritual metamorphosis . . . .
In her book, Get Out of that Pit, Beth Moore continues, “. . . don’t get the idea that he [the psalmist] sat around in the mire, sinking deeper every minute, telling God to take all the time He needed (Ps. 40:1) . . . .The psalmist didn’t sit in the pit and twiddle his muddy thumbs until God delivered him. He postured himself in absolute expectation. He had a goal, and his shoulders would not slump till he saw it fulfilled” (150, emphasis mine).
Did you catch that?? He postured himself in absolute expectation of what God is doing . . . in absolute expectation of what God is going to do.
Wait a second . . .if I wait patiently, I’m actually expecting, anticipating, looking eagerly for, hoping for??
I pause at the theology my anemic-fried brain cells just tried to process . . . . I look eagerly for the Lord . . . ?? I expect the Lord?? I hope for the Lord . . . ?? Okay, rewind. (Translation: wait). I begin to wonder if the Hebrew word qavah is used in Psalm 27:14 . . . and, if, it, is, then, . . . I wonder: What happens if I use the Hebrew qavah instead of the English wait in Psalm 27:14?
Expect (Hope for) the Lord; be strong and take heart and eagerly look for (expect) the Lord.
As in: I expect God to be here – now, in this moment??
As in: I look eagerly because I’m anticipating His presence – now, in this moment??
As in: I’m hopeful for God – here – now – in this moment??
Although a slow and painful process, I begin to play ‘Connect-the-Dots’: . . . anticipate . . . look eagerly for . . . expect . . . hope for . . . Eucharisteo??
Is this the Euchariesto? Is it possible the Euchariesto somehow yields absolute expectation? Allows me to posture myself in absolute expectation? Allows me to look eagerly for? Allows me to eagerly hope for? That giving thanks creates expectancy? That giving thanks is expectation? That giving thanks gives me hope?
To be continued . . . .
(You’ll have to qavah the continuation . . . .)