Friday, November 6, 2009
"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; and they shall mount up with wings like eagles..."(Isaiah 40:31, ESV).
"Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7, ESV).
When we are "still" before the Lord, we are calm, silent, and listening to His word. His word guides us and teaches us how we should live. Ps. 37:5 tells us to "commit your way to the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." When we follow God's way, we can trust that He will provide for us, just as Jesus taught in Matthew 6:33, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [life's necessities-KH] will be added to you" (ESV).
"Waiting" on the Lord requires patience. God works in His time, not ours. Do you imagine that Job thought his suffering would never end? Job endured, and in the end, was doubly blessed. During Job's suffering, there is no indication that he thought everything would be better eventually. He mourned that he was even born.
In the same way, when we suffer, we do not know what good may come at the end of our trial. We may enjoy better health, financial security, or restored relationships, or our suffering may end with our eternal reward if we have been faithful to God.
In Isaiah 40:31, the word translated "wait" has an interesting meaning. According to James Burton Coffman Commentary on Isaiah, "The basic word from which 'wait' is derived means to wind or to twist, the word rope being a noun that comes from this term. The meaning here is that the believer should let the Lord be his lifeline, his cord of escape."
By waiting on the Lord -- allowing Him to be our lifeline -- we find the freedom a soaring eagle represents. But as Coffman points out, "[. . .] And the real test of his faith comes, not when he flies or runs, but when he must plod along. It is in the monotony of everyday life that the man of faith reveals his true character."
When trials come -- and they will -- we must trust in God while we continue to follow Him. We must be patient and wait for His answer and refrain from taking matters into our own hands. Note: This does not mean that we sit back and wait for something to happen. But we do what we can with faith that God will fill in the blanks. For those who are serving the Lord, we know that no matter what answers God provides in this life, we also have His promise for an eternal home with Him where trials and suffering will no longer exist.
(Photo from art.com by Robert Travers)