Isaiah 40:1-11, 21-31
Today is my son, Nathan’s birthday. Twenty years ago, we were waiting and waiting and waiting for him to be born. I was induced the day before and still labored for almost 24 hours. I grew weary, but he eventually emerged and was so worth the wait!
At the very same time, my mother-in-law, who had been diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 55, had suffered a major setback and was rapidly declining in health and in life. We were waiting for her to die. I had been induced so that Nathan would enter this world before she departed this world.
Waiting is often equated with inactivity. The very idea of waiting seems so counterintuitive to those of us who yearn to be productive. During periods of waiting, God is refining us for what he has in store. He is replenishing our energy and refilling our emptiness. He is giving us fresh strength.
During my labor with Nathan I often felt like I went hours with idleness. And just as some days there didn’t seem to be much progress, or even regress on the part of my mother-in-law, that interlude was purposeful preparation for me from God’s perspective. Those who wait, says the Lord, may end up even stronger.
To wait is often more difficult than to work. To wait for God is not simply a matter of patience or endurance. To wait for God is about trust and hope. God doesn’t come and go; God lasts. Therefore, we do not lose heart.
Do you not know? Have you not heard?