- Friday, February 23, 2007
People are fascinated with progress. We like to “make time.” We invent ways to “beat the clock.” From the electric washing machine, to hand-held PDA’s, something about advancement grips us. Email arrives in mere seconds; laptop computers allow us to work between destinations; microwave meals, delivery services, and drive-thru windows provide almost instant gratification. We like to keep moving. That's what grips us — the desire to move, to progress. We may see merit in stopping to smell the roses, but we don’t like to linger long. But then, life takes us through seasons of pain, doubt, questioning, and suffering, forcing us to wait for resolution.
At times, waiting is difficult. A man trying to support a family of five on a disability check, substantially smaller than he is accustomed to, angrily questions, “Where is God? What has He done for me lately?” His posture — chin set hard, eyes averted, back straight, arms crossed tightly across his chest — communicates he’s in no mood for trite answers. Abruptly he stops talking and drifts inside himself. Softly, eyes averted, he says, “If it were not for my little girl, by now I would have put a gun to my head.” He uncrosses his arms and drops his head. “I’m tired of waiting on God.”
Emotional and Spiritual Exhaustion
Most of us can identify with his exhaustion at one time or another. Bills mount, children rebel, friends betray, emotions rage, and hearts ache. Life’s relentlessly cold winds appear only to blow on the ground between our two feet. Crises, challenges, and day-to-day demands nibble away our confidence and peace, leaving us spiritually and emotionally drained.
A popular verse that most of us have memorized tells us that great benefits come with waiting on God.
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, NIV).
The Hebrew word for “wait” here means to twist and bind, like a rope. It describes the strength and vigor gained from binding or from stretching. We gain vitality when we twist and bind our lives to the Lord. My friend, Samantha Landy, says, “Strength arises when we wrap our web-like strength around the steel strength of Jesus.”
Those who wait, exchange their own weakness for His strength. God is our strong deliverer. He is the everlasting God. He never sleeps. He doesn’t grow weary. From Him, strength arises. Exhausted by fatigue we find our hope in God. His providence, promises, and peace shout to us through the mounting “white noise” of our circumstances, reviving our depleted souls. When we lack both stamina and strength, God liberally grants all we need for steady progress and spiritual triumph.
Waiting from the Lord means holding on when you feel you can't hold on. It means plugging the holes in your faith as time passes. It means trusting when everything says it's doomed. My son Aaron is developmentally delayed, which means his body has not matured like other children his age. Like most six-year-olds, he possesses a strong independent attitude; he’s funny, unique, and greets each new day with innocent expectation. Unlike other six-year-olds, Aaron hasn’t learned to walk. He still crawls. And his speech in not clear.
Through personal experience, I’ve found that waiting on the Lord requires courage, patience, and diligence.
Burdened with real needs requiring real solutions, how can we adhere to the psalmist’s exhortation? : “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart [your inner being]; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14; NKJV)
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