The question on a recent Facebook status posted by Liquid Church Liquid Church in Morristown, NJ asks, what does the number “40” mean to you? I immediately type in my one word response, “patience.”
U2 sings a song called “40”. Many people do not know that the song is written directly from Psalm 40 of the Bible.
Psalm 40 reads “I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He also brought me up out of a pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock and made my footsteps firm. I will sing, sing a new song….”
Bono confidently declares in his unique Irish voice all of those words that show us where patience leads us. All the lyrics from this early U2 song are word for for word out of the Old Testament.
Psalm 40 is a song clearly about patience, waiting and restoration.
At several U2 concerts I eagerly attended back in the 80’s, Bono closed out the show by yelping, “I waited patiently for the Lord and I will sing, sing a new song,” as the lights went out, and Bono disappears off stage. For me, I’ve seen hundreds of encores and this one is the most memorable.
Bono sings about waiting patiently. Even Axl Rose penned a song called “Patience”, where he whispers in a soft gentle tone “all we need now is a little patience.” What is patience anyway?
Is patience the same as waiting? Is it a type of waiting? Or is patience a good natured response to a delay?
Patience is how we respond to something while we are waiting for it. Are our voices elevating in an impatient tone, complaining while we wait? Are we giving up our peace while we wait, or even worse, are we losing hope in our impatience?
Patience requires faith. Faith in knowing that whatever the delay is, that delay is for our benefit. There are no shortcuts to anything worth having or doing. It takes faith while we are waiting while knowing in our heart, everything is going to turn-out ok.
Patience is not just a virtue, it is a choice. Doesn’t it make sense to receive and give patience rather than the knot in the stomach impatience breeds? Why wait impatiently, stressfully frustrated with our teeth clenched so hard together they grind our pearly-whites?
The unsettled feeling the lack of patience gives us is not going to speed anything up correctly so let’s choose wisely and choose patience.
Let’s do what Bono did when it came to waiting and wait “patiently” for the Lord. Bono’s song (40) explains the benefits of patience and is a direct message from God. The words are lifted right out of God’s Word, the Living Bible and into U2’s classic song -book.
As I went painfully through a major-trial in my life, Psalm 40 delivered me hope. I clung to what God did for the real-life character David in the Bible. I waited for God’s hand.
I am blessed today to serendipitiously report first-hand that waiting patiently for the Lord lifted me out of a miry-pit.
God heard my cry when I fell head first into a dark-pit. He offered me His loving -hand and graciously pulled me out of it. I dusted myself off and He set my footsteps firm.
Today I stand taller and stronger than I ever have. I know our faithful God has a great plan for me. All I need is a little patience (and a little faith). I now know beyond the shadow of a doubt that when I fall He picks me up.
God taught me patience amongst a whole bunch of other wonderful things and I will exclaim what Bono exclaims minus his gifted vocal chords and in my own voice, I will “Sing,sing a new song!”