Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
“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.”
We live not only in a “material world” as Madonna’s song goes but in a fast-paced world as well, where immediate gratification is sought after. Fast foods, bullet trains, instant messaging are the words of the day.
However, as many as there are innovations, gadgets and gizmos that help us get things done in lightning speeds are situations that cause us to have to wait. We wait at the doctor’s offices. We wait at the DMV. We wait for all our papers to come in to be able to file our taxes; and in most public places, as women, we wait to use the restroom.
Waiting is hard.
Cambridge defines wait “to allow time to go by, especially while staying in one place without doing very much, until someone comes, until something that you are expecting happens or until you can do something.”
Just recently, I had to go through a time of waiting. I have been experiencing some pain on the right side of my upper abdomen. My doctor and I agreed it might be my gallbladder. To rule it in or out, he sent me for an ultrasound and blood tests. That was on a Thursday and Saturday.
I got the results early the next week and both the ultrasound and blood tests had some not so good results. My doctor usually sends me results but this time it was silent on his end. Having had medical training I knew this was something I shouldn’t just dismiss, but why has my doctor not emailed me as he usually does? My mind raised, “maybe he is consulting with other physicians before he gives me the bad news? Or could it be he is just sick, busy or preoccupied with some family matters?”
Another time of waiting happened at the emergency room. It had been four hours since I was triaged and in the waiting room. I was not the only patient waiting, there were many others. Towards one side of the room, in a wheelchair was an older woman who was sobbing and complaining to herself in an indistinguishable language. As I paid attention more closely, I realized she was speaking a dialect I knew and spoke quite fluently. I approached and started to talk to her. Unburdening herself, she shared that she was dropped off by her caregiver and was just left by herself. Then she continued to tell me about the pain on her knee, her panic attack and other symptoms she was experiencing and how long she had been waiting in the ER. Waiting is hard, especially when we feel so alone even in a room full of people.
At the end of 2016, I decided to commit to reading through the entire Bible this year. Rereading Noah’s story in Genesis 6: 9-8:22 inspired me to ponder on the idea of waiting. In Noah’s mind, God’s command for him to build a boat probably did not make sense, but without question he immediately got to work obeying God’s command (Gen. 6:22). He was “600 years old when the flood covered the earth (Gen.7:6). It rained for forty days and forty nights and the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days (Gen. 7:12,24). It took 12 1/2 months for the earth to be dry. It took 12 1/2 months of waiting before God told Noah, his family and all the animals to leave the boat. Talk about waiting!
Our key verse, Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) says, “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.” God sustained Noah, his family, and all the animals in the ark throughout their wait. Noah was 601 years old, had been cooped up in the boat for more than a year and he waited for God to say, “Go”. When they got out, the first thing Noah did was build an altar to the LORD. He recognized God was God and he revered Him. God provided and was faithful.
Waiting is hard but God is in control of time and His timing is always perfect. When I wait on the LORD time will never be wasted, for in His perfect appointed time ~ waters part, babies are delivered, flowers bloom, we see His blessings and our wait is no more.
Psalm 130:5 (NIV) “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in His word I put my hope.”