September 24, 2023 | Doug Sauder
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“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 (ESV)
“The approximate wait time is . . . 60 minutes,” says an automated voice over the phone. When we think about waiting, we can think of waiting for a website to load, for a package to arrive in the mail, or for someone to text us back. Waiting has become so mechanized because we’ve gotten used to the instant gratification technology gives us. This makes it harder to wait for things that take more time such as a healthy and God-honoring relationship, a job offer after having interviewed five different times, or healing from an illness.
Waiting on God can sometimes be even more frustrating because we want Him to answer our prayers quickly. With this comes fear that He won’t answer at all or He won’t answer in the way we want Him to. This is because we’re human. We’re naturally selfish and believe we know better than God. Our human nature makes it hard for us to be patient.
Over the past year, I found myself in many different seasons of waiting. From living situations to relationship changes to decisions about my future, I had to wait for God to move and answer my prayers for direction and guidance. Not only that, but I was seeking consistency through all of this because things seemed to keep changing and life kept throwing challenges in my path. It was in this season when I began to understand what it means to wait on the Lord patiently, which is what our passage today illustrates.
When reading today’s verse, it’s important to read the passage in its entirety to see the full picture Isaiah was trying to paint. He’s trying to comfort God’s people by pointing their eyes to His strength and majesty. He doesn’t inflate the egos of the people. In fact, he says in the verse right before, “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength . . .” (Isaiah 40:30-31a ESV, emphasis added).
We cannot possibly live this life for God if we don’t keep our eyes on Him, which is why the word used for wait here has also been translated to hope and trust. Waiting is intrinsically connected to trust and hope. When we wait on someone, the reason we can wait is because we trust they will show up or come through. When we hope in something, we’re waiting with expectation and anticipation because we trust in whatever or whoever we’re hoping for. Therefore, the way we wait matters. If we wait impatiently and with a restless heart, then we’re not waiting with faith and trust in God. If we wait patiently, we wait with a peace that transcends all understanding because we know and trust the God who ultimately holds the whole world, including us, in His hands.
On our own, impatience and frustration in waiting is our innate reaction. With the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, waiting patiently and with trust becomes more natural. We will never be perfect in this, but we will begin to recognize more quickly that we must daily surrender and commit our trust to the Lord. And as we continually wait on the Lord, He will give us strength to walk, run, and soar without growing faint or weary!
Pause: Take a moment to consider how waiting, hoping, and trusting are all connected. How have you seen these three things play out in your own life recently? Have you waited patiently or impatiently?
Practice: Take time today to journal or reflect with God on what you’re waiting for. Be honest and vulnerable with Him about how you feel and why. He wants to hear your cries and hold your heart, so surrender to Him and think about how you can wait patiently in trust instead of impatiently in fear.
Pray: Father, I know You are trustworthy, but living in that is not always easy. Today, I surrender all these things occupying my heart and mind to You because You already hold them and know them. I want to walk in patience and trust instead of impatience and fear, so I ask You Holy Spirit for help. I will wait on You because You promise to strengthen me and answer me. You have my best interest in mind. I love You and trust you! Amen.
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.