God Tells Us To Wait on Him
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40:31)
Adele's pet dog Molly is so smart. Molly seems to be aware of everything that goes on. She hears everything! Adele has to spell words out when she talks about F-O-O-D or a S-Q-U-I-R-R-E-L, so Molly will not understand her. But it is very hard to trick Molly, even when you spell words out! She is so smart, it is easy to think of her as a human being rather than a dog. And Adele loves Molly dearly, but Molly does have one fault. There is one thing that Molly has never learned. For the past eight years she doesn't quite understand what is meant by the word "wait"!
Adele knows that she has probably not helped Molly learn the meaning of "wait!" because Adele is always quick to get Molly whatever she acts like she wants. Molly stares at Adele for a long time if she wants some food. If Adele sits on the couch, Molly will sit right in front of her and stare and stare. Not just for a short time. It is an actual staring contest, as far as Molly is concerned! And Adele gets "out-stared" every single time. Exasperated, Adele finally gets up and goes to get Molly's food. Molly has no concept of "wait," and she has found a way to get what she wants when she wants it!
All of us have had to "wait" for something. It may be for dinner, a school bus, or a friend. It may be waiting to get over a cold, or waiting to go visit some special place or favorite family members. Waiting is not an easy thing to do--not for a dog, and not for us! It requires patience and understanding. Most of all, it requires trust.
In our world today we expect to get what we want when we want it. But God has instructed believers about waiting and about what (or Whom) we should be waiting for. Psalm 27:14 says, "Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." This verse tells us Whom we should look to for what we need: We should wait on the Lord. At least Adele's dog knows whom she ought to wait on in order to get her food. It would do Molly no good to sit and stare at the mailman, or at a tree trunk. Molly waits (if only briefly!) on Adele, because Adele is, in Molly's world, the best source for F-O-O-D. When a Christian needs something, that Christian should go to the God of the Bible for it.
Psalm 27:14 also shows us how we can endure the waiting, by strengthening our hearts and taking courage. Similarly, Romans 8:25 says, "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it." The only patience Molly shows is the ability to stare for as long as it takes to get what she wants. Dogs and human beings are not born with patience. They have to learn it. Christians can learn patience, by God's grace, and they can trust that the Lord's timing is the best possible timing.
God wants believers to show their trust by waiting patiently on Him.
» Am I in a situation right now where I am having to wait on God?
» Is my typical response to wait patiently, or is it just to figure out ways I can hurry things up?
» Are God's perfect will and God's perfect timing worth even the longest wait?
Truth In Real Life
"I don’t need explanations from God. I simply believe Him and accept whatever comes my way.”
He crouched at the starting line of the Olympic track, waiting nervously for the starting gunshot to go off. He was competing in the Paris Olympics of 1924, but his chances for winning were very poor. The 400-meter race was not his strongest run, and he knew it. The 100-meter race was by far his best chance at a gold medal, but 100-meter had been scheduled for a Sunday. That was no good. Eric Liddell always refused to run on the Lord’s Day.
Born on January 16, 1902, Eric Liddell was the son of missionaries to China. Spending most of his younger years at school in Scotland, he was known for being both humble and athletic – a rare combination in most athletes. He loved races and rugby; and he excelled in them so much that he was encouraged to enter competition for the Olympics!
He trained hard, and it was a long journey to become an Olympian athlete. He and his teammates were very disappointed when they arrived in Paris to learn that “his” race, the 100-meter race, had been scheduled for the one day he could not – would not – run. Liddell’s conscience felt compelled to honor God by resting and “not doing his own thing” on God’s special day. He wanted to do whatever he could to bring attention to God’s glory. He understood God’s nature and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Liddell’s motto was, “He who honors Me, I will honor.”
So Liddell had a race in front of him now that was 3x longer than the one he was accustomed to running well. The gunshot sounded and the race began. In his signature style, he threw back his head and ran with absolute abandon, giving it everything he had for all 400 meters. When he crossed the finish line, the crowds thundered with shouts and applause. Not only had he finished the race, but he had finished first! He had also broken the previous record! God gave Eric Liddell a gold medal after all that day.
After those Olympics, Liddell returned to China as a missionary. He learned the difficult Chinese language and told everyone he met about the Gospel. Whatever he did – running, preaching, living out the Gospel – he was faithful and gracious. People were attracted to his determination and humility and wanted to know more about his God. His life story pointed all kinds of people to his Savior. There was even a movie made about his story (Chariots of Fire).
Do your decisions and priorities make it clear to everyone around you that you love and value your Savior more than your own fame and reputation? Have you ever risked losing something you really wanted because you felt God would be displeased with you for going after it? Are you truly humble about God’s gifts to you? Do people praise your talents and your gifts only, or are they able to see beyond them to the One Who gave you what you have?
Isaiah 40:31 – 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.