The way of waiting.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, and you said,
“No! We will flee upon horses”; therefore you shall flee away,
and, “We will ride upon swift steeds”; therefore your pursuers shall be swift.
A thousand shall flee at the threat of one, at the threat of five you shall flee,
till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill.
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 30:15–18 ESV
The way of waiting
Waiting. Nobody much likes to do it. Our human nature is averse to it. We want what we want now. And our first inclination is to make it happen!
Yet God’s Word says: Blessed are all who wait for Him.
Through Isaiah, God gives us a brief primer on how to wait for Him.
In returning and rest…
in quietness and trust…
When we wait for God, the way He tells us to wait, we are blessed with salvation and strength. We find ourselves delivered from impatience and infused with the ability to be still. Both desperately needed if we are to learn to wait for Him and experience His blessing.
First, we need a willingness to wait. Trusting in the One for whom we wait. You have experienced it, but you might not recognize it for what it is. After all, we will not wait in the doctor’s office, in an airplane terminal, at a table in a restaurant unless we are confident what we are waiting for will come to pass. There is a trust involved. Faith.
I will see the doctor.
The plane will arrive.
The food will come.
Being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.
Waiting is an exercise in trust and requires a willing spirit.
Isaiah also warns us to avoid the temptation, the pitfall, of doing. Making something happen — even if it’s wrong! Our unwillingness to wait for God sets us on a dangerous path. Running in fear. Trusting in the ways of the world. We become a target for the enemy — a signal on a hill.
When we grow impatient in waiting, it’s time to willingly take an interior inventory. Inspect your life, your heart, for what incites you to act. Where is the unbelief making you unwilling to wait for God? What fear has taken hold of your soul and drives you to act? Ask God to reveal and then repent. Return to Him. Rest in who He is. Trust His promises. Be at peace.
But we are not the only ones waiting. Do you see it? The Lord waits too.
He waits on you
What is it God is waiting for?
to be gracious… to have mercy…
He waits on the unwilling to return to Him.
He waits for us to wear ourselves out running in fear.
To give up trusting in the world and decide it’s time to trust Him.
He waits and watches for opportunities to be gracious to us. Seeking to exalt Himself in our eyes by blessing us with unbelievable mercy when we finally come to the end of self. The place where we see all our resources — ideas, strength, hope, time, energy — run dry.
If we refuse to wait on Him, He will wait on us.
Until we are ready to receive His grace.
Oh! what an awesome, unrelenting, patient, gracious God we have.
For he knows how we are made; he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103: 14 NRSV
Which are you more familiar with? the blessing of waiting? or the futility of running?
Perhaps it’s time to take stock. Take a heart inventory to find out where you are. Then find Him waiting for you.
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Where the ordinary follows the Extraordinary.