"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
Caught in today's momentum, it is almost impossible to work that verse into our lifestyle. God says, "Wait upon Me," and our automatic response is, "For how long?"
Life in this present era is keyed to expediency. We look for the fastest and easiest way to get what we want. It is unnatural for us to wait for anything, even for the Lord. He has all of eternity, but we have only a limited amount of time.
A good present day example is a young couple in high school. They "fall in love" and she gets pregnant. She drops out to have her baby. He decides he has an obligation, so he drops out to support his family, and they get married. Their lives are devastated because of expediency. He sentenced himself to a lifetime of low wages and frustrating work. She sentenced herself to motherhood. Neither is prepared for the drudgery that quickly overtakes them.
Most likely, he is first to take the expedient way of escape. He leaves town to get a better job, but never comes back. The expedient way for her is to move in with her parents and get a job. It is also low paying and frustrating, because of her limited education. The parents inherit the baby at an inopportune time in their lives, and the baby spends its first years uncertain about who it really belongs to.
That is not an uncommon scenario. Our nation is filled with dysfunctional families who fall prey to expediency. Our very nation is dysfunctional because of expediency. The most expedient way for a politician to get reelected is to spend money to please his constituents. Because of such expediency our nation is bankrupt. The government continues to print money, but it is worth less every day.
Back to the young couple. What if they wait upon the Lord? What if they don't take the expedient way of instant gratification? What if they place their desire for instant gratification on the altar, and set their hearts to trust God to work out things in their lives according to His divine purpose?
With expediency out of the way, they finish high school and, perhaps, go to college. This automatically qualifies them for a higher standard of living. They bring God into the center of their marriage at the end of their college careers, and they raise their children in a home with Christian values.
Our nation is deluged with the expediency influence. We are urged to buy this car, now; take that vacation cruise, now; treat our family to this boat, now. It never ends. There are even two drive-up windows in most McDonalds, so we won't have to wait an extra thirty seconds for the clerk to make change.
Our verse tells us if we wait upon the Lord, we renew our strength. We have no idea what that means, and we are not really inclined to find out...until we have no other alternative.
We can thank God when we come to the end of our own sufficiency. We can praise Him when we lose confidence in ourselves, the confidence that made us believe we had no need for His grace. Usually, only after our drive for expediency drives us to our knees, do we finally look up and consider the possibility of waiting upon the Lord.
When that finally happens, when we begin to rely upon Him and commit ourselves to His guidance, we discover that He doesn't fail us. He really does renew our strength and pour out His grace upon us, so we can extract ourselves from the expediency trap into which we have fallen.
He gives us strength to labor, to wrestle, to resist; strength for every occasion we face. Whatever the day provides for us, He gives us strength to face and to overcome.
As we exercise this new-found strength, we find that it has a supernatural quality to it, a spiritual quality that enables us to mount up, as if we were winging our way into the province of our Lord. With the strength the Lord supplies, we ascend above the world and its ways, directly into the holy of holies in heaven and we enter into communion with Him.
This new strength enables us to walk and to run according to the commands of God, free from weariness. We lose our faintheartedness, because our faith and trust is in the Lord.
This happens when we wait upon the Lord. However, since waiting is not natural to us, it requires a lot of energy. Adjusting to the Lord's response time can wear us out. We are accustomed to calling our own shots. To rely upon someone else, even upon God, is frightening and frustrating.
But God doesn't lie, His Word can be trusted. He loves us, and He doesn't do anything in our lives that is bad for us. He actually wants us to walk in His strength. It is His desire that we have life more abundantly. More abundantly than what? More abundantly than we can supply for ourselves.
If we get that truth into our hearts, if we really believe what He tells us, we can throw expediency out the window! Like the young couple, we choose the better way. We turn our backs on the lure of instant gratification, and we wait upon the Lord.
Where are our lives right now in relation to expediency and instant gratification? And where is it taking us? Is our strength being renewed, or are we growing a bit weary?
If we have committed to a life of discipleship, we know it is never too late to wait upon the Lord.
Jesus is King!
P.S. What are you doing of eternal value?
Question for today: How willing was I to wait upon the Lord today?