Strength Will Rise When I Wait?

Are you sure, Lord?  Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, wait upon the Lord, we will wait upon the Lord.  As we sang this song in church yesterday, I thought about that phrase.  Wait a second…my strength doesn’t “rise” when I am waiting on the Lord.  It usually decreases.  I wonder if that phrase is even biblical?  So right there in church (sorry, Pastor Dan!) I started looking to find the scripture that  backed that phrase up.  As I read a few of the verses that contained the word “wait” I came across several rich passages but most had to do with being comforted by the Lord.  I didn’t read anything about my strength rising.  And then I remembered that verse in Isaiah.  Where was that again?  Chapter 40 or was it 41?  I flipped the pages through Isaiah looking for it.   There it was.  Chapter 40, verse 31:

 But those who wait on 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.

While we wait our strength will be renewed.  Our strength will rise…grow stronger…as we wait.  And I thought about some of the situations in my life where waiting is my only option.   And I knew that waiting usually depleted my strength.  It didn’t make it grow stronger.  And then I had to ask myself this question:  if scripture tells me that waiting will make me grow stronger, why was I growing weaker?

As I pondered this question, I realized the answer: I grow weaker when I am waiting if I am relying on my own strength.  I am small and finite and things look impossible to me.  But God is big and infinite and all-knowing. All things are possible with God.  He is our hope…our strong deliverer, just like the song goes on to say.  In fact, as I took the time to read through the lyrics (see below) after I got home, I realized that the entire song was based on that verse in Isaiah.

But there wasn’t anything in that verse to indicate that waiting would be easy…or fun.  In my world, I am “happier” if I can do something to solve a problem and many of my conversations with the Lord have gone something like this: “Lord, please just show me the path to take, and then I’ll do it, Lord. Please show me how I can solve the problem and I promise I will work hard to do that.”    But guess what?  If we solve the problem, then we get the glory.  It is only when I acknowledge that I can’t possibly solve this problem and, in prayer and with faith and patience, submit the impossible to my Heavenly Father that I can get a glimpse of His glory.

Some of us wait and wait and wait.  We have wayward children…or broken relationships…or a situation at work…or an illness…and they are seemingly unending.  And we grow discouraged.  And we grow weaker.  Waiting is not for the faint of heart.  Waiting is hard.   But after we have done all we can do…after we have given 110% to solve a problem…or read every good book there is to read about God’s will…and there is still a question mark hanging over our heads…then, instead of throwing our hands up in the air, we need to turn it over to the Lord.  And as we wait, trusting in a God who is so much bigger than us, our strength will be renewed, not because of anything we will do…but because He will give us strength.

Everlasting God

Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord
We will wait upon the Lord

Our God, You reign forever
Our hope, our Strong Deliverer
You are the everlasting God
The everlasting God
You do not faint
You won’t grow weary

You’re the defender of the weak
You comfort those in need
You lift us up on wings like eagles
You won’t grow weary

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