Read: 1 Samuel 6:10-7:2
From the day that the ark was lodged at Kiriath-jearim, a long time passed, some twenty years, and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD. (v. 2)
Sometimes we find ourselves in a long season of waiting and wondering. Some of my own most difficult waiting has happened during the seasons when I’ve been looking for new jobs. It is a vast and quiet place in which to exist, waiting and wondering, longing for God to make a move or clear things up.
When the Philistines returned the ark of the covenant to the Israelites, everyone likely figured their troubles were over. In fact, the people of Beth-shemesh who were working in the fields rejoiced to see the ark pull into view. But instead of a jubilant new season of perfection, one group chose not to rejoice with the others, and seventy men were struck down. With fear and trembling the faithful sent the ark to yet another location. Twenty long years pass.
Twenty years is a terribly long time to endure through uncertainty and unknowns. In long, vast seasons of waiting, perhaps the most we can do is claim with the psalmist, “I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage” (Ps. 27:13-14). We can take heart knowing that God is both with us in our waiting and he is the destination toward which we travel throughout the waiting—and this gives us strength and courage to bear with the waiting and wondering.
As you pray, seek strength and courage to face your waiting.
About the Author
Katy Sundararajan is a specialized minister in the Reformed Church in America. She has garnered her pastoral perspectives from posts as a college chaplain, a missionary, an international student advisor, and a higher education and leadership ministries program coordinator.