‘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)
One of the universal experiences common to human beings is that of waiting. Students take exams and then have to wait for the results. Expectant mothers have to wait for their baby’s arrival. The greater part of our lives seems to be taken up with waiting for the next thing to happen: For the bus that never comes, the mortgage to come through, or that elusive job opening to materialise. And of course we can either wait impatiently, like a child on a long car journey continually asking ‘are we there yet?’ Or we can wait creatively making use of the time available to do something positive.
As a follower of Jesus I have found that waiting plays a big part in my Christian life. Spiritual growth and maturity take time. Answers to prayer don’t always come immediately. And then there’s the waiting for Jesus’ second coming to usher in a world where there will be no more death, crying or pain
(Revelation 21:4). I too can either wait impatiently or creatively.
Interestingly the Bible speaks a great deal about waiting. In the Old Testament there are a number of Hebrew words that are translated as ‘wait’, each of which has a slightly different nuance. Three such words are: chakah, meaning to long for
(Psalm 33:20); sabar, meaning to watch with a hopeful expectation
(Psalm 145:15 KJV); and qavah, conveying the imagery of rope being twisted together slowly in order to strengthen
For me, an understanding of these words provides a wider perspective and greater depth to the waiting I inevitably have to go through.
I can wait with a longing for God to act in my life. Waiting requires trust. Godly waiting is not a hopeless resignation, but a hopeful expectation; a firm belief that God is sovereign and that his timing is perfect. As I long for the sovereign God to act in hopeful expectation my faith and trust in him is strengthened.
A farmer knows that waiting for the right time to harvest a crop is essential, ‘Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains.’ (
James 5:7). This type of waiting is not passive but an active choice to use the time and space God gives us in order to produce fruit in due season.
What is it you are waiting for? And how are you waiting? Being strengthened by longing with hope in God will produce precious fruit. Why not give it a try?
Father, teach me to prayerfully and patiently wait on you and be still before you, as you work in my life,
Have a good week waiting on God.