Read: Isaiah 40:1–8, 31

But those 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 

Waiting is frustrating business. Few people enjoy waiting, and plenty of people are undone by it. Waiting for test results from a doctor, waiting to hear back from a potential employer after a job interview, waiting for a family member to arrive home after an extended absence can seem excruciatingly difficult. We prefer quick results, responses, and returns. But the Bible continually recognizes that times of waiting are central to the experience of faith. For God, apparently, waiting has value. The passage of time is an important component in our development as people of faith. Somehow, the waiting itself has a way of producing renewal in our lives.

When we are forced to wait, we are forced to recognize that certain situations and processes are simply out of our control. And while that reality unsettles us, it can be helpful to have to come to terms with life as it truly is. We are not in charge, and we have precious little influence over the course of our lives and the fate of our world. That is just the way life is. At some point in our waiting hours—if we are faithful to the experience—we are prompted to surrender our desire for control, and we entrust ourselves anew to God. When we finally admit to ourselves that there is nothing we can do but wait, we unconsciously make room for God to act in our lives. When God has room to work within us, that is often when we find ourselves renewed. The weariness of propelling ourselves by our own steam is replaced by the joy that can be experienced when we are carried on the wings and winds of God.

What do you do when you are waiting?

Lord, I am not a fan of waiting. I struggle to find value in what seems to me to be idle time. I am very much in lockstep with a culture that prefers instant gratification, immediate results, and the rapid exchange of information and communication. However, I know that fast-paced living is wearying. The ever-increasing speed of life outpaces my ability to keep up. In fact, efforts to reduce waiting time might crowd out important moments when You try to catch my attention. Lord, the next time I find myself waiting, help me to consider that moment as a time of critical communication between You and me. Help me to realize that renewal and waiting go hand in hand. In Your name, I pray. AMEN.