Wednesday, May 12, 2010

“Wait for the Lord!”

Am I alone, or have you ever felt like this?

“Why did I not die at birth, come out from the womb and expire? Or why was I not as a hidden stillborn child, as infants who never see the light? There the wicked cease from troubling, and there the weary are at rest. There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster. The small and the great are there, and the slave is free from his master. Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden, whom God has hedged in? For my sighing comes instead of my bread, and my groanings are poured out like water” (Job 3:11, 16-19, 23-24).

These are the words of Job, but have you ever found yourself in a place in life where you had no answers but only questions? “Why did You let these things happen to me?” “Why did I have to turn out this way?” “How did I ever get in such a fix?” “Why do You let me live?” “When will this end?”

Lots of questions, but no answers: That’s where I’m at right now, and where I have been for some time, in fact. Every now and then, reality breaks in and hits me pretty hard, and I start feeling sorry for myself.

That’s where I was this morning, and I came to these words of Job, recorded in Scripture. I think Job’s words expressed well the sadness of my heart. However, not only did I find in Scripture words to match the sadness I felt, but I also found relief for my sadness. It was almost as if God was answering the question posed by Job (“Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden…?”):

“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God’?” (Isaiah 40:27)

Wow! That captured my attention! It was like God knew what I was thinking. Yet, it was not an answer to any of my questions. I wonder, have you ever noticed: If we spend a lot of time questioning God, we end up spending a lot of time just listening to our own voice? God doesn’t answer many questions—at least, not directly. Rather, instead of answering my questions, God points to Himself and says, “Remember who I am!”

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable” (Isaiah 40:28).

And to those, like me, who are in need, He offers Himself:

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they 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 40:29-31).

The Amplified Bible renders verse 31 this way:

“But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.”

God tells those who are weary, expect Him, look for Him and hope in Him. That’s what it means to “wait for the LORD”. And, if we wait for Him, He’ll show up. In the midst of our pain and sadness, when we’re weary of life and feel like giving up, He’ll change us, and by His Spirit renew our strength and power. Notice: There is no promise that our circumstances will change. Nevertheless, even though our circumstances may remain the same, by the Lords’ strength, in fellowship with Him, we’ll soar.

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