What does it mean to wait on Lord? A lot of times we as Christians think that waiting on the Lord is this quiet, unproductive posture of doing nothing.
We recently moved from Colorado to Arkansas, which meant a trip to the DMV to get my Arkansas driver’s license. I don’t know about you, but for me it took several hours of sitting and waiting on three separate occasions before I finally walked out of the DMV, license in hand!
Have you ever noticed that waiting for stuff like that can really drain you?
But is that what God is calling us to? Is He calling us to idly wait?
Isaiah 40:30-31 says,
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.
God is saying that waiting on Him doesn’t drain us like a trip to the DMV. Instead, it renews our strength! The word “wait” in the Hebrew is qavah which means “to bind together like a cord.” It is literally a picture of weaving and binding different strands together to make a strong rope. As a single strand, we do not have much strength. However, when we bind ourselves together with God, we become a rope with a lot of strength…His strength.
Think about that for a second.
“To bind together” is not sitting idly by, doing nothing. Those who “bind together” with Him shall renew their strength. What Isaiah is saying here is that our strength is renewed by being very close to the Lord.
Waiting is a proactive stance of drawing close to God. Bringing our presence into His presence.
How can we intentionally draw near to Him during the waiting so that we have an attitude of hope and expectancy rather than feelings of anxiety and overwhelmedness?
I think the place we have to start is to choose to live actively, not passively. Don’t wait for God to show you His will; assume that you are in His will today and that He will guide you and reveal more as you continue to walk with Him.
I think of it like this: We lived in Europe for 15 years. Learning to navigate was tricky at first. Since we had learned to drive in the States, we had that mindset when we planned our trips. What do I mean by that? If I were planning a trip to Minneapolis from NWA, I would figure out the interstates that I need to take, follow the signs for Minneapolis and head north. At each interchange I would choose the interstate that is heading in the right direction. Along the way, there would be signs that tell you how far away Minneapolis is and assure you that you are still headed in the right direction. In Europe, as long as you are headed in the right direction, there won’t be a sign telling you which way to go. It is only when you need to change directions that a sign will appear letting you know where to go. We just had to keep driving and pressing on until we saw a sign to go a new direction.
I know I sometimes wish God would reveal what the next five years would hold…I’d even settle for a year! Even though I know that’s not how it works, I can waste my energy sitting around waiting for that clear “sign.” We were each designed to actively fulfill a unique purpose during our time on earth—one that both glorifies our Father and brings us great joy!
Be proactive—ask God for wisdom and direction. Tell Him you want to do what He has created and called you to do. Seek wise counsel. Don’t be guilty of having not because you asked not.
As I choose to live proactively, I’ve learned to intentionally shift my focus to these things:
God’s Promises: I read Bible verses and speak them aloud daily. As the power of God’s Word weaves hope into my prayers, encouragement fills the empty places in my heart. I’m reminded once again of God’s unfailing love and faithfulness.
Praise & Worship: When most of us think of praise and worship, we think of music. For me, God hardwired my brain for music. It is also where He has given me some significant gifting. I listen to praise music throughout the day wherever I am. Many of the songs have lyrics taken straight out of Scripture, reminding me once again of God’s truth. As I remind myself of what is true about God, I sense His peace and my worries fade, turning my doubts into confident expectancy. For others, praise and worship can look quite different. My husband has his most worshipful experiences while riding his mountain bike. My daughter beautifully expresses her worship through the gifts God has given her creatively—whether through painting, writing, making videos, etc., she actively worships the Lord through the expression of her gifts.
Thanksgiving: I recently read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp and started keeping a blessings journal. I count my blessings each day and look for God in the beauty of nature, in people, etc. I thank God for the answered prayers and miracles in my past. I remember how God always came through in those tough times of great need, and I thank Him in advance for His answers yet to come.
If you find yourself in a period of waiting, don’t give up! If I had given up at the DMV and not continued to go back with the correct information, I would not have an Arkansas driver’s license today. Keep pressing on! Look forward in hope and expectancy for Him to respond and remember that the Lord is good to those who seek Him.