Waiting is a difficult thing for most if not all people. When waiting, at least three things are bound to happen: first, you succeed in waiting patiently and faithfully until you receive your object; or, secondly, you give up waiting; and, thirdly, you seek your own way of receiving your objective. As believers, when we are waiting upon the Lord and He seems to delay, the evil one will readily offer us a shortcut. Isaiah 40:30-31 is familiar to many. The context of these two verses is about God strengthening the feeble and the faint-hearted, then it goes on,
“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.” (ESV).
These two verses have always been used to warn the youth against relying on their own strength. Well, no objection to that, but the truth is that the text is addressing the whole nation of Israel, indeed the whole world! Notice that verse 30 says, “even youths (inclusive) shall faint”, and not simply, the youth (exclusive of the aged) shall faint. The word “even” here denotes inclusivity.
Nonetheless, much more can be said about the youths in this passage, especially those who trust in their own sufficiency and are so confident of it that they do not seek God for His grace. Many young people are strong but are apt to think of themselves stronger than they are. But even they shall faint and be weary of waiting, yea, they shall utterly fail in their services, and under their burdens they shall soon be made to see the folly of trusting in themselves. But (thank God for “but”) those that wait on the LORD, who make conscience their duty to him, and by faith rely upon him and commit themselves to His guidance shall find that God will not fail them. They shall find grace sufficient for them: they shall renew their strength as their work is renewed. In the midst of challenges they will be refreshed, they will overcome their burdens and mount up with wings like eagles, so strong, so swift and heavenward, in the strength of divine grace.
The roots of waiting are often bitter, but the fruits are sweet! We are all waiting for something or someone. And as you wait you are not using a stopwatch for your life. Time is always ticking away and never waits for anyone. You may be aging and jobs are not forthcoming, you need to wait. You may be seeking for a spouse or having gotten one, you are planning to marry after some time, you also need to wait! COVID-19 is here with us and the whole world has been greatly affected. We are forced to stay at home, no travelling, the government has declared a curfew, soon or later there may be a lockdown, we need to wait! How can we wait without wasting away? We can learn from King Saul’s mistake in 1 Samuel 13:8,
“He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people were scattering for him. So Saul said, “Bring the burnt sacrifice here to me, and the peace offering. “And he offered the burnt offering.”(ESV)
Saul was not willing to wait for the appointed time when Samuel would come. He ran out of patience of waiting upon God’s appointed time. As soon as Saul finished to offer the burnt offering Samuel came. What do we learn here? God may appear to delay, but He comes at the right time, the appointed time. In other words, God does not delay whatsoever. Delay is not one of His attributes. This is encouraging to me; I hope it is to you as well. We have often said, “God’s timing is the best”. I trust you believe it. Indeed God has perfect timing, never early and never late. It requires patience and a whole lot of faith but it is worth the waiting.
Waiting involves several elements. Here are three: The first one is obedience and in the case of Saul it was clear, “Samuel said to him, ‘Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice.’” (1 Samuel 15:22 ESV). The second one is endurance or tolerance. I like football and there is a type of training session meant to build one’s endurance. The training involves doing very rigorous physical exercises without touching the ball such as carrying heavy loads or a heavier teammate. This kind of exercise helps to prepare you to face a physically stronger opponent. During waiting you will meet tough moments but endure until you can pull through. The last one is patience - some Bible versions will call it longsuffering and it constitutes the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal.5:22). If we have the Holy Spirit, then, we must wait with patience upon the LORD in all circumstances. He is mindful to such, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25-26 ESV).
These are perilous times brethren, let us wait upon the LORD. Let us trust the LORD in whatever circumstance we find ourselves as this will mark us out as true Christians. Be obedient to God and the governing authorities that we have in place. Be patient. Persevere knowing that our present situation is not worth comparing with the future glory we have in and through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke Remmy Wasike
Remmy Wasike is one of the deacons in church and a student of Theology at Kisumu Reformed School of Theology.