“But they, that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40: 31)
We live in an era of impatience but we are not the first to do that. Every generation has needed to learn how to wait: wait for the rain, wait for the sun to break through, wait for labor to be rewarded, wait for Christmas to come, wait for the war to be ended, wait for our loved one to come home, wait for the Lord to return.
How do we wait where waiting renews our strength instead of sapping it away from us? How do we wait so we mount up with wings as eagles and not get stuck fidgeting and impatient? How do we wait where we can run and not be weary, walk and not faint?
We wait in alignment with the Lord. The Hebrew word for wait means to bind together or to twist and rope together. Whenever I hear this word, I think of a gospel song we sang years ago, Wrapped Up, Tied Up, Tangled Up in Jesus. We realize we are never waiting alone. When we wait for a spouse to come on out to the car, we are not in the car by ourselves. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places. (Ephesians 2: 6)
We wait in faith believing. Yes, we know what we wait for is coming. But, the greater aspect of waiting in faith is believing that God is the source of our strength and renewal, not the speedy conclusion to our waiting. We know that the help God gives is real and will be on time. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek him”. (Hebrews 11: 6)
We wait to practice for other times when we will have to wait. It’s called resistance training. Some could call it interval training. It could be an interval of 30 seconds or 30 minutes or 30 days or 3o years. We will wait and see. We acknowledge “hope deferred can make the heart grow sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13: 12),
We wait with the joy set before us. When we wait for a spouse to come on out to the car is waiting all about us or (wait for it) the joy of seeing them beside us. Our focus is not on the empty seat but on the joy of its filling. When we’re in the checkout line (Isn’t it always the slowest one?) waiting gives us an opportunity to bless, encourage, and see how we might be of help to others who have to wait like us.
We wait to share the strength we have received from God with someone else. Have you ever been close to one when they’ve gotten off balance? Without thinking, you reach out to stabilize them and bring them back to being upright. This is what God says He does when we wait on him. Literally, when He renews our strength, the Lord slips his strength over to stabilize us in the awkwardness and imbalance of impatience and bring us back to be upright before him. (God might use someone close to us to help with this.)
We wait to match our character to God’s. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak” (Isaiah 40: 28 – 29)
This is how we wait. Well, now that we know how to wait we can practice. I know I need the practice. My wife will confirm that. 🙂