Learning to Wait

. . . but they who wait for 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

I am rather an impatient person. Many years back, I asked the Lord to give me more patience, but it is something with which I still struggle. (I like to think He is still giving me opportunities to grow!) Often I run ahead because I feel like waiting is a waste of time, and I frustrate easily as I have to often “wait!”

This morning I read the devotion from Mornings with Jesus (by Keri Wyatt Kent), entitled, “Do You Have the Strength to Wait Upon Jesus?” It helped me see waiting in a very different perspective, and I feel it will make waiting much easier as life is indeed full of moments, days, and years of waiting!

In the English language, the word “wait” has more of a passive meaning, an implication of doing nothing. But the original Hebrew word, qavah, was full of energy and faith! The word stresses the straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude, looking forward with assurance.

With this understanding, it is easier to understand the passage in Isaiah 40:31; as we wait, we rest in Him, renewing our strength. Waiting on the Lord isn’t the same as waiting for a bus or in the waiting room of the dentist. Waiting on the Lord is active, engaged, and expectant.

Often we waste our energy trying to impress the Lord, being on umpteen committees, seeing how much we can accomplish in a specific amount of time, and becoming weary–even if what we are doing is “good.” I fact, I think it’s safe to say that our culture glorifies “busyness.” But by running ahead, we end up weary. Sometimes we need to wait: listening, expecting, allowing Him to “renew our strength.”

Isaiah 40:31 has always been a favorite text of mine. Now it is even more so, as I grow to understand exactly what “waiting” should look like.

So next time you are in “wait” mode, I pray that what comes to mind first is that you are waiting upon the Lord, not biding time impatiently until circumstances change. You must remember that He will renew you in mind, body and soul. If we can simply wait, focused on Him, and determine how He wants us to proceed, we can rest assured that He will be with us through any upcoming tasks and circumstances–no matter how challenging they may be.

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