Friday, December 05, 2014

WAIT—a small but difficult word

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Isaiah 40:18-31

TO CHEW ON: "But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,

They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Though "wait" is a theme of the advent season, it is definitely not my favorite thing to do. However, the ability to wait looms large in the life of the God-follower. A promise to those who "wait on the Lord" is the punchline of beautiful Isaiah 40 that we've read yesterday and today.

[Wait - qavah means to wait for, expect, hope, wait hopefully.]

Bible references help us see the array of circumstances in which we may need to "wait." David, for example, was a great believer in waiting.

  • When unsure of what to do next, he resolved to wait for God's direction (Psalm 25:4,5).
  • During a time of personal danger (when spied on by Saul, who intended to kill him) he waited on God to defend him (Psalm 59:9).
  • To get the big prize. That would come to the one who waited on the Lord ("They shall inherit the earth" - Psalm 37:9).
  • He waited patiently - not impatiently (Psalm 40:1).
  • He waited silently without fretting or giving God suggestions on how to fix the situation (Psalm 62:1).
  • He encouraged himself and his readers to keep on waiting even when things were great (Psalm 27:14).

The writer of Proverbs reminds us to wait for God instead of trying to "recompense evil" ourselves (Proverbs 20:22).

Isaiah picks up the challenge to wait. He says:
  • We must "Wait on the Lord" when He seems absent and silent (Isaiah 8:17).
  • We wait  on Him for energy, strength, and vitality (Isaiah 40:31 - today's focus verse). As we wait on Him, he renews us for tasks that take a burst of energy, to "… mount up with wings like eagles";  for tasks that take endurance: "They shall run and not be weary"; and for everyday, plodding life: "They shall walk and not faint."
  • Finally, our waiting will vindicate us. We trusted in the right One:
Behold this is our God;
We have waited for Him and He will save us.
This is the Lord;
We have waited for Him;
We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation." - Isaiah 25:9.

Whatever our situation, let's join David, the writer of Proverbs, and Isaiah in waiting on God today.

PRAYER: Dear God, in my modern time of speed and instant, I feel stretched, antsy, even anxious when I need to wait. Help me to grasp Your trustworthiness and how much better it is to wait on You and for You than to take matters into my own hands. Amen. 

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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