Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait upon 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. (Is. 40:30-31)
Have your tasks ever felt greater than your abilities? Your responsibilities greater than your resources? Your needs greater than your powers?
These questions reveal how the Jews felt when Cyrus, the Persian Emperor, decreed that they could go home after 40 years of exile in Babylon.
How did they receive this news? Joy, relief, and gratitude.
How else? Worried. Daunted. Discouraged. Why? Because they didn’t know if they had the abilities or resources to rebuild their society from the ruins that had remained.
What does Isaiah say to those overwhelmed people in today’s reading? He tells them to wait upon the Lord. On their own they will faint, be weary, and fail; but if they wait upon the Lord, they will be lifted up, renewed, and given what they would need to rebuild.
What can we do when our tasks feel bigger than our abilities, or when we’re worried sick about what is coming, or not coming, our way? We can keep on pushing and demanding, often getting nowhere. Or, we can quit, flee, fret, or panic. Or, we can wait upon the Lord, trusting we’ll be given all we need.
Some of us have a hard time waiting upon the Lord because patience isn’t one of our natural or spiritual gifts. Having patience is, however, part of being faithful and part of being an adult.
I don’t know why the Lord sometimes makes us wait upon His power and deliverance. Maybe in order to prepare our hearts, or purify our desires, or deepen our faith. What I do know is that when we wait upon the Lord we must stop our pushing, prodding, fretting, and demanding.
I encourage us to listen to Isaiah. If we’re facing more challenges or needs than we know how to do on our own, then we need to wait upon the Lord. It worked for the Jews in 540 B.C. It can do the same for us today.
- When have you had to wait upon the Lord? If you received what you were waiting for, what impact did that have on your faith? If you didn’t, again, what was the impact?
- Are you currently waiting upon the Lord for some answer, help, support, or healing? If so, what would help you to wait with more patience and trust?
- Did my statement that the Lord may sometimes make us wait for His deliverance in order to prepare our hearts, purify our desires, and deepen our faith make sense to you? If so, how?