I recently discussed with some guys about the Lord’s timing and his cleansing us of unwanted habitual behavior and addiction. One of the guys used the analogy of his heart being a house and his wanting to purge the junk from it, like spring cleaning getting rid of clutter and unwanted mess. I reminded him that some stuff the Lord must remove for us, in his timing.
That was hard for us to accept. We want to fix things, to form plans and execute them. We want to solve problems. Waiting for God to do it for us is a challenge.
Then today, weeks later, I recalled a verse that I had memorized:
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
It’s the closing verse of Psalm 27, and I love it.
Well, in a very real way, it is fully instructional for any struggle or fear that Christians face.
The Lord is for us; he wants what is best for us, but that takes time. We must wait for him; but as we wait we are called to be strong—make wise choices, fight temptation, and endure hardship. We must take courage in the face of danger, challenges, and pain.
The reason I find this so applicable to the specific struggle of addiction is as follows: when we are willing to “be strong and let our hearts take courage”, we are tested and, if we endure, cleansed over time. As we are strong and courageous, the Lord delivers us—not by virtue of a single miraculous cleansing but rather through hundreds of moments of renewing our heart and mind through overcoming temptation. If we are strong, if our hearts take courage, then one morning we awaken and say, “wow, I have made it 30 days ( or 60 days or 90 days), without my addictive or unwanted behavior.” Some of that junk we wanted to get rid of is gone. The Lord did it while we were waiting.
Something to consider for us all. We want the Lord to work and act on our behalf, but we must endure and do right in the interim, to love him well each and every day in the waiting, to seek justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly, to be strong, to take courage. And wait. In that very waiting, the Lord may be preparing us for exactly what are waiting to see, receive, or experience.
Check out Psalm 27 for yourself and purpose in your heart to be strong and take courage today!
Thanks for reading!