The military command, “Mark Time, March” means to march in place without moving forward. It is an active pause in forward motion while remaining mentally prepared and expectantly waiting the next command.
In everyday language, the term marking time has come to mean “motion without progress, not getting anywhere, not doing anything important while you wait.” It conveys a feeling of idle, meaningless waiting.
In contrast, the word wait in the Bible often means “to look eagerly for, to hope, and to expect.” The psalmist, when facing great difficulties, wrote: “O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me. Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed” (Ps. 25:2–3 nkjv).
We often have no choice about the things we must wait for—a medical diagnosis, a job interview result, the return of a loved one—but we can decide how we wait. Rather than giving in to fear or apathy, we can continue to “march in place,” actively seeking God’s strength and direction each day.
“Show me Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day” (vv. 4–5 nkjv).
Lord, give me grace to embrace the pauses in my life, and to be prepared to follow Your next command.
Waiting on God is active trust in Him.
The book of Psalms is actually a collection of 150 songs/poems written for and used in Hebrew worship. These songs were composed over the span of approximately 1,000 years, stretching from the time of Moses to Israel’s post-exilic period. Psalm 25 is designated as an individual lament and is attributed to David.