Have you ever been in a place where God just made you wait? You needed an answer yesterday and God kept saying, “not today”? I’ve been there. You’ve been there. People who are loved and cherished by God will find themselves there. In those times, questions about ourselves and God can pop up… Are we doing something wrong? Is God not happy with us? Is God fair? Does God care?
Waiting is hard.
Yet it is encouraging to read Isaiah 40. The turning point in the book of Isaiah where God’s judgment has been pronounced and the people will go through severe chastisement for their sins YET STILL God will come back to them and comfort them (see Isaiah 40:1). At the end of the chapter, there’s an encouragement for all the “waiters” out there…
Isaiah 40:31 (ESV) 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.
I read something recently that shed a lot of light on what it means to “wait” for the Lord.
Waiting is not doing nothing. Waiting is not sitting around until the heavens open and an angel speaks from the clouds. Waiting is not hoping for the best. Waiting is much different.
The Word Isaiah uses for “wait” is qavah. The word is derived from a root meaning “to twist.” It came to be used as the word for a rope. It refers to the tension of a rope, formed by twisting fibers until they are under stress. This is the picture Isaiah presents for the times when we are waiting for the Lord to come through.
Isaiah is being blunt: Waiting is stressful.
So Isaiah is not telling us to take it easy when we need God to come through. He’s telling us plainly that times of stress are times where we should be waiting for God the most! Trusting His timing, purpose and plan. Knowing that even in the difficulty, God is in control and you need not fear. God knows how its going to end and you need to press through the stress because something amazing is about to happen…
What’s most beautiful in the Isaiah verse is the promise of what God will give to those in times of tension and stress. It’s the exact opposite of what we tend to expect from challenges! We will not break! We will not fall to pieces! We will not dry up and run out! We will not be beaten down! NO! We will rise up! We will run. Something good is WILL break lose in those who are tested “in the Lord.”
Are you stressed? Are you tensed? Are you going through a test? This is your time to wait for the Lord. Deepen your time in prayer. Get alone with God more during this season.
But please remember that though the waiting is the hardest part, the best part comes after! You will mount up, you will run, you will not faint!
God is good.