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It’s Monday morning and my devotional for today talked about waiting. Psalm 40:1 states “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” I am realizing that this pandemic will have a significant impact on my sabbatical plans. An annual retreat I go to in May has already been cancelled. Some other plans we made will have to be postponed or cancelled. I am somewhat disappointed with this. However, I recognize that it has to be this way with the health threat to so many.

We must all begin to figure out what life looks like while we wait for this threat to pass. I don’t know if we can even say that we wait for things to return to normal. I suspect there were will be a new normal for many of us when we come out of this. But that doesn’t’ mean we just sit around and try to occupy our time with trivia or TV over the next weeks.

My morning devotional says this about Psalm 40:1 – “Most translations of verse 1 say “I waited patiently,” but the Hebrew literally says “I waited-waited.” In Hebrew, the doubling of the term conveys intensification and magnitude. This means not passivity (inaction, apathy) but great concentration. Servants waiting on a great lord did not twiddle their thumbs but watched every expression and gesture to discern their master’s will. Waiting on God then, is to be busy in service to God and to others, all in full acceptance of his wisdom and timing. (Italics mine). That kind of waiting may indeed be long and excruciating, as Psalms 37-39 teach us. But it finally leads to a new song of praise to God.” (Tim Keller, Songs of Jesus, March 23, p.82).

“O Lord God, our refuge, strength and help – we are realizing this pandemic will drastically alter our lives for the next few months and beyond. Help us to adjust to this “interruption.” Then help us to wait well. Empower us to be busy in serving you and others. Inspire us to take this time to draw closer to you and to invest our time in prayer for those we know in need. Thank you that you turn to us and hear our cries when we wait on you.”