I am waiting for the forsythia. Waiting for even a hint of those yellow buds and the first hint of color they bring. Those buds have not come out yet…but the pansies are starting to come back to life:) I am waiting for the forsythia – because my dad always said they were the surest sign of spring and I am ready -and waiting – for spring. I am trying to wait patiently but, long about mid-March, my patience with cold mornings and chilly afternoon wind – even the allure of my fireplace and all the comfort foods of winter – is just about drained. Gone. The wait for spring seems so hard.
Waiting, in general, can be challenging. But there is much reward, even blessing, when we will wait on the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 is well known:
“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.”
As women of God, we turn to this verse when we are feeling depleted, discouraged and faint. We want to renew our strength. We want to run and not be weary. But, often, we rush… even in the quoting of the verse. We rush right past the “wait upon the LORD” and straight to the promise. But the promise is offered only after we will wait upon the Lord.
Wait – “to stay in expectation” or, as one dictionary said, “to delay action.” To simply be still and allow God to lead. When we wait on the Lord, we refuse to get ahead of Him. Action is not completely eliminated but simply delayed until we hear from the Lord. And we listen for His leading expectantly – with confidence – knowing that He will speak, direct and go before us. It is then that we can follow….with renewed strength, running and even soaring!
But waiting is hard. How can we strengthen our ability to wait? How can we practice waiting so we will be better able to wait the next time we need Isaiah 40:31 in our lives? I’m sure there are plenty of ways to test and try ourselves but here is one way I try to teach myself to wait (and to wait well.)
Choose the longest line at the grocery store. We instinctively scan all the open registers, look not only for the fewest shoppers but the shoppers with the fewest items in the cart and – quick! – jump in that line. We are hoping it ensures us the shortest wait in line. But what if we purposely chose the long line? Got behind the customer with a full to overflowing buggy. Or stepped in line behind the senior you know (assume?) will move super slowly. And, then, waited. Waited our turn without grumbling, sighing or mentally rushing ahead to what needs to be done….if we ever get out of this store!!
The challenge is not only to wait – but to wait well. Waiting well is not simply refusing to complain but, perhaps, engaging with the clerk, the customer in front of you – or even helping that slower paced senior. As you wait, ask God for ways to wait well. Ask Him to speak to you…and use the extra time, as you wait, for your benefit. For your strengthening – ready “to soar” as you continue with your day.
I would love to know ways that you might use to strengthen your waiting ability. Please share!
“The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.” Lam. 3:25