Thursday, March 17, 2016

When Waiting Seems Impossible

"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." Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

This has been one of my favorite verses my entire life. I have imprinted it on my Bible cover and have collected eagle paraphernalia for as long as I can remember. Eagles are an amazing animal with power and grace and dignity. Whenever I am able to see a bald eagle live, I am fascinated and simply stand in awe watching.

God promises this to each of us - to mount up as eagles. To be filled with strength and grace. To be blessed with an endurance that is far from natural. I don't know about you, but I definitely want and need that in my life every day! My problem is that I am not very good at waiting. I am a definite "type-A", get things conquered and move on to the next project kind of person.

I hate traffic, long lines and inefficiency that causes me to move slower.

What would it look like to run and not be weary?
How would my day change if I could walk without fainting?

Would I pour into my kids more? Have a healthier marriage? Spend more time on soul care? Write a book or cure cancer or build a rocket to the moon? I have no idea and, quite honestly, those are not the focal points of this verse. It is an encouragement and a reminder of how desperately I need to wait upon the Lord. It is not about a process that enables me to accomplish more.

Life without waiting? I am running in circles, building things of my own accord and desperately attempting to control the chaos of the world around me. I have learned over the years that I am not very good at this - I am nowhere near close to being efficient as God. Let's just say that if I was in charge of the universe, it would be bad news for all of us. The great thing is that God offers an alternative to the chaotic, exhausting, exasperating life of being in control.

Life waiting upon the Lord? I am peaceful, intentional, calm and less flappable. I know that Jesus is sleeping in the boat in the midst of whatever storm I encounter and so I can stand firm trusting in my Savior to guide me to where He needs me to be. This is not merely Christian rhetoric, but is the way to receive abundant life. This in no way means that struggles and pain and stress and heartache magically disappear. Rather, it means that I am not compelled to walk through these issues alone.

The common phrase that good things come to those who wait might have been written by a Christian. Truth is that our flesh wants the here and now, but our spirit knows that waiting on the Lord is the best policy. It is an ongoing tension and struggle that I wrestle with daily. I cannot say that I have perfectly mastered the art of waiting (not sure I even reach a C-average), but I do know that I am a bit better today than I was yesterday. May I encourage you to not aim for perfect waiting, but just wait a bit more on the Lord today than you did yesterday. Read one more verse, pray for one more moment, meditate on Scripture on more minute or enjoy the sunset while thinking of our Creator. Wait on the Lord and let Him provide the eagles' wings you need for today.

Lord, thank You for the promise that You are near, that You provide strength, and that You are for me and not against me. Help me, by Your Spirit, to slow down, to rest and to wait on You. I am often surrounded by swirling storms and far too often I attempt to navigate them on my own. Remind me daily to look to You and to wait on You - only then will I have the peace and assurance I need to see You daily in my life. Amen!

 ~ Mike

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