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
I’m not very good at waiting.
It stresses me out when there are decisions to be made … and they haven’t been made yet. When we’re going on vacation … but there are three weeks until we leave. When we’ve been to the doctor … and have to wait on test results. And when the water takes too long to boil. That’s pathetic, but there, I said it.
It’s no fun to wait, and I don’t think there’s anyone I know who would say they like it!
I’ve been thinking about this verse a lot lately (which may or may not be because I’m in great need of strength!) It seems to be saying that when strength is in need of renewal, the prerequisite is that dreaded word … wait. And so what does it look like to wait upon the Lord?
Well, when one sits down at a restaurant, there is a waiter. And the waiter’s job is basically … well, to wait! First they wait until you tell them what you want. Then they go get it for you. They bring you what you asked for, then ask if you want anything else. And for the rest of your time there, they sortof hover around a bit, watching to see what you might need or want–more water? Ketchup (in those fancy places)? A new napkin?
It occurred to me that maybe we ought to think of ourselves as waiting on the Lord in that way. Keeping close to Him. Waiting and watching. If we truly drew near–really got close to Him, what would we notice? What’s on His heart? What can we see needs to be done, retrieved, or brought to Him? What are His wishes? How can we serve?
There’s more here, too. Baby eagle wings are fluffy and cute. But they’re not much for flying. The verse previous to this one tells us, “even young men grow weary and vigorous young men stumble badly.” (The mamas of young men said, Amen.) But those who wait on the Lord … in other words, those who give God time! Those who have grown older in their waiting. While we wait, our wings grow. They become less cute, sure; but they also become useful. Only time allows the development of the long, sturdy feathers that allow us to mount up over circumstances and go long distances. The wings of an eagle are especially designed to allow them to soar on warm air drafts using little or no energy. When we wait on God, wait to hear His heart and His plans for us, when we resist following our inclination to be “busy” and “do something” that’s all our own idea, we give ourselves an opportunity to mature.
And perhaps that is the greatest gift of waiting on the Lord … a little more time to grow up.
Are you in need of strength today? How hard is it for you to wait on the Lord?