There are many words of command in scripture that stir and inspire Christian leaders. We love words that invite us to action like “go,” “teach” or “work.” Language like this usually feels like an easy fit for many Christian leaders.
But there is at least one word of command in scripture that causes many Christian leaders no small level of anxiety. Listen to how David uses it in the last few lines of one of his psalms:
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.
I’m sure you saw the word I’m talking about. “Wait.” Christian leaders often feel that the main thing leaders do is lead. This is, of course, a key activity for leaders. But the best kind of leading is the fruit of following. The best kind of leading grows in the soil of waiting.
David, in his waiting posture, talks about his enduring confidence. It isn’t a confidence rooted in his own self-assurance but in God’s measureless faithfulness. As he waits, he remembers.
He has witnessed the goodness of the Lord so many times along the way that he has come to an abiding confidence in that goodness. Our lives are soaked in the goodness of God, even when situations around us feel bad, even when we feel like we just need to do something.
There is a deep reality of good underneath everything. Waiting on God grants us the vision to see it. As Davids says, we find strength. In waiting, we grow in holy patience, that unhurried virtue, to wait until that vision becomes clearer. We “take heart.” At key moments, God just might be urging us, “Don’t just do something. Stand there!”