Expectation Can Be So Hard

Listen to my words, Lord,
    consider my lament.
Hear my cry for help,
    my King and my God,
    for to you I pray.
In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly.   Psalm 5:1-3

David talks to God honestly. He calls his conversation with God a lament; that's because David is sharing his grief with God. He cries for help. He asks God to listen to him. Things are hard, and he needs to be rescued, so where can he go besides to God?

And then he waits expectantly.

That's the problem with real prayer - it takes so much vulnerability and it doesn't guarantee the kind of response we want. It just guarantees waiting. No wonder people don't pray much, right? I mean, who wants to do the hard inner work of naming all your sadness and brokenness and need only to be left with waiting to see if you'll get an answer. 

And yet, in that last verse, David also acknowledges that he's been heard. And maybe that makes all the difference. Yes, it's hard to wait because it makes for more vulnerability. And yet, to have company in the waiting changes things. No longer is David alone. Yes, he still has sadness and anger (you can read plenty of that in the rest of the psalm), but at least he has company in the waiting.

Are you willing to do the hard work that David did to surface your sadness and lay it out to God, knowing that you're only promised that he'll be with you (and not that he'll give you what you want)? Talk with him about that today, and then if you can, take some time to meditate on what it meant for Jesus to go to the cross after laying out his heart in the Garden of Gethsemane.