Lent Day 29: Waiting


Isaiah 40:31

But they who wait for 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.

It is that time of year when we all are filing our income taxes, and hopefully we will get a refund.  And if we do, we have to wait on it to arrive. This also is a time when many people are receiving a stimulus check, and we have to wait on that to arrive. For some of us, we have already spent it in our minds before it hits the mail or our bank account. In addition to all that, the vaccine is being rolled out and we have to sign up, when it is our time which we means we have to wait for our turn in the rotation.  Then we have to wait to set up an appointment, and then wait for the day we get our shot.  Let us not forget, once we get to the location, we have to wait in line for our turn to take the shot, and then three to four weeks for the second shot.   

As we can see, in life we have to wait for a lot of things to occur in their proper time. For many of us we just do not like to wait. This includes waiting in the fast-food line, it is just not fast enough.  But when you look at the Bible people throughout history had to wait on God’s timing. Abraham had to wait 25 years for a son. Israel had to wait 400 years to get out of Egypt. Joseph had to wait approximately 12 years to get out of prison. Moses was in the desert 40 years before he became the deliverer of God’s choosing. Even Jesus had to wait 30 years before he began his public ministry.  

With all this waiting we feel like there has to be a better way. But God uses waiting as his way to prepare us for the future he has for us, and not for us to get distracted by false gods and trust in the wrong life-giver. 

Brueggemann helps us see a different way.  “We may read life differently and the way to do that is to wait: to wait in eager longing for the God of creation and rescue to work a new way in the world; to wait in keen expectation, to wait in active zeal, receiving every hint of newness and acting on it; to be ready to go for the gift of life, to leave off fear, intimidation, resignation, pooped out-ness as the governance works a newness.

In our waiting for the Lord we begin to experience a reordering of our world and the world around us.  The texts below help us in that transfiguration.   

Psalms 25:5

Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalms 27:14

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalms 31:24

Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!

Psalms 40:1

I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.

Psalms 52:9

I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.

Psalms 62:1

For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.

Psalms 62:5

For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

It is in our times of waiting that we are able to override despair, invite hope, respond to our waiting, and start living in the world as free people again, “Outside the regime of weariness.”  

In our times of waiting, we can choose a different reality other than the rat race of the world. An alternative reality not rooted in self-preoccupation or in the deadening of stability, but in the awesome reality, that brings new life in the simplicity of waiting. Waiting so that we can gain new strength and mount on wing like eagles, run and not get weary, walk and not faint, as we wait. 

“Teach us, O God, to wait in eager anticipation of your salvation.  In this waiting, may we discover the promised blessings of new strength, new courage, new freedom, and new life. Amen.” Brueggemann 



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