CHRISTIAN LIVING 21c

WAITING ON THE LORD

Waiting on the Lord
By Charles E. McCracken
GROW March 11

“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

Read today’s text: ISAIAH 40:26-31

 

Circaetus_gallicus_in_flight_t

Short-toed Eagle (Circaetus gallicus) in flight, Mazkeret Batya, Israel. By Flavio, [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons – Enhancement: MKM Portfolios

Today, technology has advanced to the point that we scarcely have to wait for anything.  Consequently in our culture, waiting—generates impatience—that leads to irritation—followed by stress—and finally frustration because something isn’t happening at the desired pace.  Yet, God admonishes us through the prophet Isaiah to wait on the Lord. 

Isaiah wrote the above text during the Babylonian captivity.  His primary audience was the nation of Israel living in exile.  Many exiles believed God had abandoned them.  Some even believed God was unable to keep His promises to them.  They said, My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God (Isa. 40:27).

Countering this line of thinking, Isaiah reminded the exiled nation that God has unlimited power and infinite wisdom.  God would never abandon Israel.  He had certainly not lost interest in their welfare.  In reality, the exact opposite was true.

Looking into the night sky, Isaiah drew attention to the visual reminder of God’s mind-boggling power.  God created everything that exists.  He not only created billions of heavenly bodies, He calls every star and planet by name (v. 26).  To imagine that God was somehow unaware of Israel’s situation was absurd.

Isaiah wanted Israel to understand that trust in anyone or anything but God is futile.  Just as a vigorous young man will lose his edge through the aging process and the stamina of a long-distance runner will eventually falter, Isaiah affirmed that any object of faith other than God will disappoint (v. 30).  

God is never fatigued or exhausted.  He never becomes weary or indifferent.  Possessing infinite power to deal with every situation, God is incapable of being too busy or too distracted to care.  Looking back, the nation of Israel could trace through history confirming that God was always engaged, always consistent and always faithful in His dealings with them.

In addition to His omnipotence, Isaiah reasoned that God also has perfect comprehension of every situation stating, “His understanding is unsearchable” (v. 28).  In God’s plan and purpose, there is a set time for every action.  Aware of every moment of time, God also knows how every action at any given point in time and space affects the total scope of His creation. 

God was not aloof to Israel’s circumstances in exile.  With infallible wisdom, He knew precisely when to act in Israel’s best interests. 

Israel’s circumstances were temporary rather than permanent; but, at the set time in His plan, God would intervene to bring deliverance.

Until then, God reassured His people with the words, “they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles” (v. 31).  

The word “wait” is the exact opposite of frantically trying to make something happen before its time on a self-determined timetable.  Wait conveys persistent expectancy—waiting on God to accomplish His purpose at His appointed time. 

The experience of watching an eagle soar is unforgettable.  Several years ago at the Gamla Nature Reserve in Israel, I stood watching eagles from a cliff perched over rugged terrain.  They hovered at eye-level virtually at arms-length.  The eagles weren’t frantically flapping to maintain flight; they simply spread their wings and with minimal effort were held aloft by thermal air currents.

Isaiah’s imagery of the eagle aptly describes waiting on the Lord!  Just as the wings of the eagle provide the lift necessary to stay aloft, faith under-girds the Believer regardless of the situation. 

Those who wait on the Lord—those who fully trust Him for support—can effortlessly soar like an eagle above the rugged and rocky terrain of life.  If you’re struggling with a difficult situation, choose to trust God; and then in the process, the Creator of the universe will renew your strength.

© Charles E. McCracken 2016, text content only.  Repost/Reprint with permission from the author.