Psalm 42:5 “Why am I in despair? Why is this turmoil within me? Wait for God, For I will yet praise him as my Grand Savior.”
There were a couple points that stood out to me in the above verse. The first was “wait for God.” The second was that David felt confident he would yet praise God as his “Grand Savior.” But then as I reflected on the whole verse, it dawned on me that the whole verse can be helpful to anyone going through any type of trial. So lets start from the beginning:
“Why am I in despair? Why is this turmoil within me?” As we go through challenges, it is easy to become anxious. But as a servant of God, we need to take stock of our situation. Indeed, just why are we upset? Have we lost confidence in the love of our Creator? What exactly are we disconcerted about? Likely putting the situation into perspective will help us not to stress.
“Wait for God.” When we wait for anyone or anything, we are in anticipation of change. If we have stopped waiting, then gloom and despair can overshadow us.If we have stopped waiting on God, then we’ve abandoned ourselves to the current negative situation. The only thing we are waiting for is death. I’ve come to understand how unrelenting pain associated with declining health can actually make a person want to die, wish to die, and yes, even pray to die. Living in pain, not having any quality of life is no life at all. The next step, death, seems inevitable anyway, so why not just let it come sooner than later? But how much more positive is it when choose to “wait on God”?
For a few months during and after my chemotherapy (for leukemia), I could see no light “at the end of the tunnel.” I was so weak, in a constant mental fog, housebound, could no longer drive, and constantly feeling sick. But then, 6 months after the treatment, I began to build strength and stamina. I was once again able to leave the house and drive short distances. I was able to share in the public ministry. Then in May I discovered, quite by accident, that I had bladder cancer. The surgery to scrape the inner lining of the bladder to remove the cancer was more painful than anything I’ve experienced in the last 20 years or so (when my gall bladder calcified and died). And now, another problem that had shown up years ago and once again reared it ugly head and added to the pain I’m already facing from the surgery--the outer part of my right thigh started tingling and then went completely numb. Well, now it has gone back to sharp stabbing pains, tingling throughout my upper and lower right leg. Every step is excruciatingly painful. Really death is preferable.
But then I was struck by the words in Psalm 42:5, to “wait on God.” Waiting on him for what? David concludes he wants to praise God not only for being his God, but just as importantly, as being his Grand Savior. Yes, losing hope is a dismal way to live out the remainder of our lives. Instead, wait to see what God will do for you. Expect him to care and demonstrate that care. This is a much more positive viewpoint to have.