I wonder what the word ‘wait’ conjures up for you? Is it waiting for a bus that never seems to come; filling in time at an airport waiting for the flight to be called; or memories of childhood with the seemingly interminable wait for our birthday or Christmas to come? All these situations can be boring and frustrating.
However, when Isaiah speaks of waiting in today’s verse, he uses a word that is far from boring or passive. The Hebrew word is qavah, and apparently it contains several nuances of meaning. The first is ‘to bind together’, as with a cord, so that when we are encouraged to ‘wait’ on the Lord, we are being encouraged to connect to Him and to intertwine ourselves with Him. Do we consciously do this when we spend time in stillness before Him?
The second aspect of meaning from this word is ‘to expect’. When my dog knows that I am preparing her food, she sits and waits, but it is not a passive kind of waiting at all – her body quivers with excitement and she drools from her mouth in anticipation, because she knows what is coming. Do we wait on God with similar excitement and expectation of the wonder of meeting with Him?
Another aspect of the word is ‘to wait on’. During the lockdown I watched some repeats of a programme called Downton Abbey, a fictitious story of an aristocratic family in the early 1900s. They lived a luxurious lifestyle in a large stately home and had numerous servants working for them. At the sumptuous dinners in their huge dining room, there would be a butler and probably two others waiting on the family. These men didn’t need to be told what to do – they merely watched their master and knew what was required of them.
The last meaning of this word translated as ‘wait’ is ‘to look for’. God promises the people of Israel in Jeremiah 29:13-14: ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you’. Do we actively seek the Lord with all our hearts as we set aside time to be with Him and as we read His word?
Waiting on the Lord is therefore not a passive thing at all. If we can learn to wait on Him in the full meaning of the Hebrew word – being bound together with Him, expectant that He will meet with us, waiting on Him and for Him, seeking Him with all our hearts – we will find ourselves soaring on wings like eagles. Our strength will be renewed and we will be transformed!
Prayer: Lord, I am sorry that I have not been waiting on You in the way that Your word tells us to. Please teach me to wait on You with expectancy that You will meet with me as I seek You with all my heart. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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