Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV) 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.
For the past few weeks I’ve been plodding along a path that has left me tired and worn. Nancy has had more than her share of hardships, from a broken toe, falling down our wooden stairs and having emergency retinal surgery. I’ve found myself in a pit of whining and complaining, convinced God had somehow let us down. As my thoughts swirled I began to believe that God did not know or care about all that was happening to us. It’s then, in my darkest hours, I tend to forget to praise the Lord for all that He has done for me. Like the Israelites of old, I found myself complaining about the manna God was giving us. Instead of seeing Jesus before me and following Him wholeheartedly, I chose to complain. I believed I didn’t have the strength for the journey and that God was asking me to do the impossible – to trust Him in the midst of the storm.
“It is much harder to walk in the ordinary pressures of life than to fly like the eagle in a time of crisis.” Warren Wiersbe
I found Wiersbe’s statement to be true in my own life. Then the other day as I stood washing dishes, I thought about everything that had happened the past few weeks. I was reminded that “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength”. I wondered what it meant to “wait on the Lord”. The promise of waiting is a renewal of strength, and that’s what I needed, so I began to study.
The truth is, God knows. He knows what we feel, what we’re facing and the challenges that lie before us. The truth is that He is able and adequate enough to meet our every need. On my own I’m unable to trust God completely, but He gives me the strength to trust Him if I wait upon the Lord. My strength is insufficient but God is all sufficient and gives me strength for the journey.
I’ve learned that waiting isn’t just sitting around and doing nothing. Waiting means “to hope” and to look to God for all that we need.
Isaiah 26:3 (AMP) “You will keep in perfect and constant peace the one whose mind is steadfast [that is, committed and focused on You – in both inclination and character], because he trusts and takes refuge in You [with hope and confident expectation].
Isaiah 30:15 (AMP) “In returning [to Me] and rest you shall be saved,
In quietness and confident trust is your strength.”
Rather than continuing to complain I need to put my hope in God’s character, having a purposeful mindset to pray, praise and glorify Him. I need to spend time meditating on His character and His promises. It’s a concentrated effort to shift my focus from the storm and the waves of life. I’m placing my hope in the One who speaks, “Peace! Be still”.
Finally, I’ve learned I need to renew, which means “to exchange”. This is putting off one thing and putting on another. I need to exchange my weakness for His power as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 12: 1-10. As I wait on Him He enables me to soar when the trials are many, and to walk faithfully as I face the everyday challenges of life.
As I face each new day I need only to step out in faith, knowing that God has gone before me. I trust in His promises and His character. I know He won’t leave me, I know He will provide and I know He will fill me with His strength as I walk by faith and not by sight.