Sometimes we need to wait and allow Jesus to renew our souls.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength...they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
I hate waiting. I think of waiting rooms, where you sit, leafing through a two-year-old copy of People magazine, with a quiet, half-formed dread, thinking of all the things you are not getting done.
The word wait, although it’s a verb, seems inactive, passive. In English, in our culture, waiting has that connotation. Sitting around and tapping our feet. Not really doing anything. Wasting time.
But the Hebrew word in the original text, qavah, was full of energy and faith. Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance notes: “The word stresses the straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude...a forward look with assurance.” Its more-ancient meaning is to collect or bind together— active words.
To wait upon the Lord is not the same thing as to wait upon a bus or to wait upon the dentist. Waiting on the Lord is active, engaged, expectant. Do we have the strength to wait on Jesus?
We don’t just wait for God to do something, we wait upon Him. Our faith has a focus, an object: Jesus. We rest in Him, allowing Him to renew our strength, to help us so that we can run and not be weary. We turn our lives over to Him and trust Him.
So often, we waste energy trying to impress Jesus—see how many committees we serve on, how much we do! But when we run ahead of Him, we end up weary. Sometimes we need to wait: listening, expecting, allowing Him to renew our souls.
Faith step: Where are you trying to run ahead of God? Where do you feel weary and faint? What if your weariness is God’s way of telling you to slow down and wait on Him?
Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of many devotionals, including Simple Compassion and Oxygen. She writes and speaks to help people slow down, simplify, and rest so that they can listen to God. Keri is a member of Willow Creek Community Church, where she has taught, led groups and volunteered in a variety of ministries for more than two decades. She and her husband, Scot, live with their teenage son and daughter in Illinois.