Waiting for the Lord
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, ‘My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God?’ Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary: his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might, he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 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.”
—Isaiah 40:27-31 (Read Isaiah 40)
I’ve been falling asleep with the lights on. It’s not because I’m scared of the dark or because I want to hand all my money to Duquesne Light. It’s because these days, I fall asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. It’s because I’m exhausted.
All day long, my thoughts race. I think about the weight of sin: an ocean on fire, a still-raging global pandemic, another Black person killed by the police, a loved one lost to cancer, words that should never have been spoken and can’t be taken back. I wonder why, but wonder isn’t a strong enough word. I obsess about the why and the what’s-the-point?
I do think about the good: the beauty of Creation even still, the healthcare heroes, the holy anger, the time that we do have, words that heal. Iced lavender lattes. The color yellow. The faithfulness of a God who owed me nothing and yet died for me while I was a sinner still (Romans 5:8). But even as I meditate on these blessings, I wonder/obsess over when the next shoe’s going to drop. I know I am not alone in this.
We are a people who feel entitled to answers. We hope understanding will bring peace, but the more we know, the more we wonder. Thus it is so hard for us to comprehend this God we serve, this God who does not faint or grow weary and whose understanding is unsearchable (Isaiah 40:28). Because we struggle to comprehend God’s attributes, we press on in our search for understanding at any cost. Our desperate attempts to make sense of a world stained by sin can contribute to the soul-deep fatigue that many of us know well. Yet the prophet Isaiah suggests another path.
Isaiah writes that the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, does not grow faint or weary and promises a supernatural power and strength to those who wait for Him. What a God! Praise the Lord that we can pray against a spirit of obsession and entitlement and trust the One whose understanding is unsearchable, who does not change (Malachi 3:6), and who cannot lie (1 Samuel 15:29)!
God promises us the renewal we seek if we wait for Him. This is a beautiful promise, but the call to wait is difficult to live out. What does it look like to wait for the Lord?
The prophet Micah writes that to wait is to look to the Lord (Micah 7:7 ESV) or to watch with hope (Micah 7:7 NIV), which suggests that waiting is not altogether passive. Looking/watching is an intentional posture. We must choose to fix our eyes on Jesus, remembering His acts of love on our behalf and expecting that He will appear once again as promised (Hebrews 12:2).
To know what He has done and promised to do, we must continue to return to Scripture. In the Letter to the Romans, Paul, too, demands that we hope for what we do not yet see, waiting eagerly and with perseverance (Romans 8:25). In Psalm 5, King David promises the Lord that prayer will be central to His waiting, trusting that the Lord will move in His timing. The Book of Lamentations encourages us to wait silently for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentations 3:26). There is a wealth of Scripture that addresses waiting; the Lord is faithful to teach us how to draw near to Him.
Father, We pray against the impulse to seek answers more fiercely than we seek You, the One with the answer to every question we will ever ask. Thank You for being God so that we do not have to try to be. Like the proud at the Tower of Babel, God, we fail so tragically when we pretend to be You. Thank You for humbling us, for knowing and desiring what is best for us and for revealing Yourself to us as You see fit. Help us learn to wait for You.
Jesus, we are tired, and You want to give us rest. You are the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. You do not faint or grow weary: Your understanding is unsearchable. You give power to the faint, and to us who have no might, you increase strength. If we wait for You, Lord, You shall renew our strength; we shall mount up with wings like eagles; we shall run and not be weary; we shall walk and not faint. Thank You, God, for these promises of renewal. You are so very good to Your children. Amen.
—Morgan Crane is a Cornerstone Student Leader who manages the Cornerstone Devotional.
Cornerstone Leadership members will write a weekly devotional during Spring 2021.