We tend to think of waiting as something passive and often boring, as when we have to wait for a bus or train, or when we wait for hours at an airport for a flight. However, when the Bible speaks of waiting on God, it is completely different. It means being still in God’s presence, expectantly looking to Him, and as we do this our strength is renewed.
Those who serve at tables are known as ‘waiters’. A servant waiting at table would be watching and listening for the slightest instruction from his master. It is partly in that way that we should be waiting on the Lord. Psalm 123:2 says: ‘As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God’.
Another example of waiting is that of a working sheepdog. Between a well-trained dog and its master there will be perfect understanding. There are times when the dog will drop to the ground at his owner’s command, keeping completely still, waiting for the next instruction. The dog fixes his eyes on his master, not moving a muscle, watching and waiting. He will not move until he is told, and often the slightest signal is enough for him to know when to move and what to do next.
Have we learnt to wait on God in that way, or are we too easily distracted? Can we follow God’s instruction to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10), or do we find our lives constantly filled with noise and activity. Brother Lawrence, a 17th-century monk, encouraged people to ‘practise the presence of God’. Have we learnt to do that?
Today’s verse promises that as we wait upon on the Lord He will renew our strength. Instead of relying on our own resources, we will be receiving from Him. An exchange takes place between our weakness and His strength. We will then be like eagles which soar on the thermals, seemingly without any effort. Why not resolve to do that today?
Prayer: Lord, please teach me how to wait on You and to be still and know that You are God. Forgive me for the times I have failed to do this. Amen.
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