experiencing god

Waiting on the Lord

“Hurry up and wait.” Have you ever thought or said these words during a visit to the hospital or a doctor’s office? Waiting is hard. Waiting for test results as we try to get a better understanding of what it is that is making us feel sick. Waiting to see if a test came back positive or negative. Waiting to hear what treatments there are available to us. Waiting to hear if the treatments we are doing have worked. What will the future hold? Will I recover? Will my loved one ever be the same again? Will life as we knew it ever return?

One of the hardest things about waiting is the unknown, being stuck in a place of uncertainty. At least when we have answers, we can pour our energy into the task of figuring out how to face the challenge. Until then we are only left with a racing mind and an imagination that fills in the gaps with an endless stream of fears and “what ifs”.

In this context the words of Isaiah can seem painstakingly difficult and elusive, though promising. “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

‘Waiting on our worries’ zaps our strength and energy. Waiting on the Lord, offers solace and renewal. Waiting on the Lord, changes our focus. It carries with it the promise that whatever may come, we will not face it alone. It reminds us that life and its challenges are not an end in-and-of-themselves.

Rather, our present struggles are set against a larger backdrop, a backdrop with hope. A backdrop where hope is bigger than the challenges we face. A backdrop where hope is real and tangible and can transform any experience in life. A backdrop where hope reaches beyond the confines of this life and into eternity.

It is an unfortunate irony that when we are scared, sad or anxious that God’s presence, help and comfort often seems very far away. Our feelings and the immediate circumstances seem to create a fog that insulate us from receiving the light and warmth of God presence. I think this is why the Bible reminds us to “wait upon the Lord”, because we need the reminder. We need the reminder to shift our laser like attention from the tension and worries of waiting, to the bigger picture. We need the reminder that we are not being asked to face these challenges alone. We need the reminder that God is still with us and that he will help us each step of the way – come what may.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD you God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)