“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)
I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting for something or someone. I do know there are some who are better at waiting than others. But when it comes to the “waiting” of the Bible, it is not a quality that is optional!
Over the centuries this passage has given comfort and encouragement to countless people, including myself. When things don’t progress as we think they should … when people and especially children seem to be dragging their feet in learning to listen and obey … it is very easy to become impatient.
Isaiah was one of God’s prophets who faithfully discharged his responsibilities to declare all that the Lord guided him to say. And the message he proclaimed carried with it many terms of judgment for God’s people because of their stubborn and rebellious hearts. But his message also would include words of comfort and encouragement which reflected the love, mercy, patience, and grace of the Lord.
Writing about what was to come and a future for God’s people of hardship and captivity at the hands of the Babylonians, this man of God was encouraging the people in those difficult and challenging times to remember the gracious and loving promises of God.
The fact is, there are times in each of our lives when the need to recall God’s promises and presence is of the most supreme importance to our hearts, minds, and our lives.
And so, we read from this timeless passage of Scripture, words of hope and reassurance. But these words are intended for those who are willing to “wait on the Lord.” We need to reach an understanding of just what it really means to “wait” and how we are “wait on the Lord.” The Hebrew word used in this passage is ‘Qavah’ and is defined by Strong’s “to bind together (by twisting) to expect; gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon).
As the pressures and challenges of this world come to bear on our hearts and lives daily, the way we “walk in our manner of life” … we must learn to “wait on the Lord” and to know that His providential care is in our lives. Though we may not ever come to a full understanding of this truth, the Bible is alive with the evidence that it is so! There are at least two implications from the phrase “those who wait on the Lord” … complete dependence on God … and a willingness to allow the Lord to decide the terms!
We sing many wonderful hymns wherein we “teach and admonish one another.” Among those that can surely bring joy and thanksgiving to our hearts and souls is …
“Teach Me Lord, To Wait”
Music & Lyrics: Stuart Hamblin, 1953
Arranged by: Gerald Moore, 1992
Teach me Lord, to wait down on my knees,
Till in Your own good time You answer my pleas;
Teach me not to rely on what others do,
But to wait in prayer for an answer from You.
Teach me Lord, to wait while hearts are aflame,
Let me humble my pride and call on Your name.
Keep my faith renewed, my eyes on Thee,
Let me be on this earth what you want me to be.
“They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
Teach me Lord, to wait.
At this particular junction in the lives of many faithful children of God, there are brothers and sisters in Christ, families of Christians who are finding it difficult to keep on “waiting on the Lord” while loved ones are suffering, fading away from this life, some who are experiencing financial challenges, the loss of a job, or family problems.
And so, I say to each of you in this hard place, “wait on the Lord.” He sees … He knows … He cares … and He will not forsake you! You can rest assured, for in God’s strength, you will discover all you need to be strong in the face of life’s adversities. Wherever you are today, don’t stop hoping in the Lord, for that is the only way to renew your strength.
How well are you waiting on God? One other thought that bears mentioning … God never asks you and me to wait without Him!
Bill Fairchild, Jr.