But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind. Isaiah 40:31 (The Message Bible)
Lately, my life has been about waiting. I’m waiting for a projected project to start. I’m waiting to start the packing process for our upcoming move. I’m waiting for the boys’ last day of school so we can start summer activities. And I have to confess, I hate waiting.
I think, if we’re honest, most of us don’t wait well. It’s one of the reasons we carry our smartphones at all times. Waiting to pick up the kids in the car line–check Facebook. Waiting in a long grocery line–play some Words with Friends. Waiting at the doctor’s office–read an online news brief. We constantly keep our brains moving so we can avoid the waiting process.
The thing is, waiting–when properly engaged–can be good for our souls.
Waiting isn’t about sitting passively staring into space with glazed and unfocused eyes. Waiting isn’t about boredom or laziness. Waiting isn’t a process of doing nothing. Rather, waiting is a process of building something.
Although it doesn’t always seem like it, waiting is a very active time. It’s God’s construction zone. But when we seek to fill the waiting space with busyness, we slow the construction process.
When God asks us to wait, it’s often because he’s working on something. Our role in the process is to use our waiting time to prepare ourselves for what’s ahead. We do this, not by attaching ourselves to our smartphones or binging out on PBS soap operas (although, I really do love catching up on Call the Midwife!). Rather, we prepare ourselves by using the waiting time as a sort of Sabbath period.
This is time God is giving us to draw closer to him so that we might be strengthened, renewed and ready to run wherever God is calling us to run.
After Jesus’ resurrection, he appeared to his disciples and told them to go back to the upper room and wait. After all of the anxious waiting the disciples had done during Christ’s arrest, trial and crucifixion, they were told to wait again.
The disciples returned to the upper room and waited, but they weren’t passive. Scripture tells us that the disciples met together and prayed “with a single purpose in mind”. (Acts 1:14 CEV) The women and Jesus’ brothers met with them. Together, they prayed and prepared for the gift of the Holy Spirit and the work of spreading the gospel message. God used this time of waiting to prepare the disciples (and all those who would work with them) to go out and spread the news of Christ’s resurrection to all the world.
I don’t know what you’re waiting on right now. Perhaps, like me, you’re waiting for a job to start. Maybe you’re waiting to close on a house. You could be waiting for test results, or preparing to send your firstborn to college.
Whatever waiting period you find yourself in now, I would challenge you to wait with purpose. Take this time to draw closer to God. Let his Spirit strengthen you, renew you and prepare you to fly.
Blessings and Peace,