Waiting with Hope
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Waiting is a part of life … We wait in line. We wait at the doctor’s office. We wait for packages to arrive. We wait for Thanksgiving and Christmas and our next birthday to come. Waiting is as much a natural part of life as breathing! So much so, that we wait to take our next breath! So if waiting is a natural part of life, why is it so difficult?
Well, as you know, the culture we live in is a fast-paced, fast food, swipe-the-card-and-go kind of place. We don’t have time to slow down, much less wait! Waiting is an inconvenience. From the time we’re born, we don’t want to wait. Think about a baby. Does a baby wait for its milk with any semblance of patience? Absolutely not! A baby doesn’t wait for its food any more readily than we wait for a turn in the drive-thru lane at Chick-Fil-A.
But sometimes the type of waiting we have to do is even more important than waiting to fill our bellies! Sometimes the waiting is for deliverance from something that is incredibly difficult.
No matter what we’re waiting for, rather than becoming frustrated, anxious, and impatient during our wait time, isn’t there another way we can live? Rather than allowing our wait time to capture our joy and rob us of freedom, can we possibly use it as a time to live ALIVE in Jesus’ presence? Can we learn to wait well, even though we desire constant motion? I believe the answer is found in Isaiah.
Read Isaiah 40:31
… but 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.
In this verse we can discover three truths about waiting that will give us something “to do” while we wait. God literally gives us three verbs (just to remind you … a verb is an action word.) I love that … God’s Word is full of amazing paradox that lead us to truth and make us ALIVE in HIM! Let’s look at these together.
But they who wait (Qawah)… this word is a verb that means to wait for, to look for, to hope for, to bind together by twisting (as in a strand of cord or rope). It also relates to depending on and ordering activities around a future event.
And who are we to wait or hope for (i.e. bind or twist ourselves around)? This verse says we are to wait (Qawah) for the LORD. The word LORD in this passage refers to Jehovah.
Jehovah is the One that is absolutely self-existent; the One who possesses essential life, permanent existence (Nathan Stone, The Names of God). Jehovah is the perfect, permanent, present One.
This tells me that while I’m waiting, I am to twist or bind myself around the LORD. The One who is perfect, permanent, and always present. Now that is worth the wait, isn’t it?
What happens as I wait? This passage says my strength shall be renewed.
Renew (chalaph) means to change, substitute, alter, change for the better, to show newness.
As I wait (bind myself to the LORD, Jehovah), I exchange my imperfect, failing, human strength for Jehovah’s perfect, always present, life-giving strength.
And then what happens? Another action verb in the text answers that question. It says …
… they shall mount up with wings like eagles. Mount up (alah) in that sentence meansto cause to ascend, to go up, to spring up, grow, shoot forth, to be carried away, be led up.
As I bind myself to Jehovah and gain His strength, I am led to a higher place with the Lord. I worship and grow with the Lord. In essence, I soar! Talk about staying in motion. Who wouldn’t want to fly?
These principles are true as I wait in line or on the phone, as I wait on my kids or on the laundry to get done. But these principles are even more powerful as I wait in the storms of life.
I was curious as to why the text specifically used the analogy of an eagle. So I discovered something interesting about the eagle. When flying in a storm, the eagle doesn’t actually flap its wings, so it basically uses no energy. An eagle flies into the wind of the storm and allows the motion of the storm to cause him to soar. The wind actually comes up underneath his wing span and is the force or energy for the eagle’s flight. The eagle has learned or perhaps just knows instinctively to use the storm – to embrace the storm.
Eagles soar at extremely high altitudes, as well. Oh, don’t you see the picture? We are the eagle and the storms take us higher and higher with the Lord. They cause us to wait, yes, but we wait in hope as we bind ourselves to Jehovah and are transformed into creatures that are free and fully ALIVE in Him!
- What are you having to wait on today?
- Is your patience lacking because of the “little”things?
- Are you tired and weary, needing your strength renewed?
- Have you received some news that has caused you to feel anxious or fearful?
- Won’t you wait on (bind yourself) to Jehovah, exchange your strength for His, and soar today?
If you would like some verses that will help you worship as you wait, click here.
*The Wait/Hope,Renew,Soar graphic was taken from Girls Love Chocolate by Susan Cady 2009.