By Patrick Hawthorne
For years I have been thoroughly captivated by Isaiah 40:31, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” I don’t know when, but somewhere along the way it became one of my favorite verses. Well, in actuality, it was the word, “wait,” that captivated me most.
I’ve written on this a couple of times, but it occurred to me that, although I thought I had a grasp on the word, “wait,” I was really just scratching the surface as to its meaning. The Hebrew word for ‘wait’ is qavah (kaw-vaw) which comes from a primitive root meaning to bind together (perhaps by twisting.) As I wrote in a previous article, I picture two cords, one very frail which represents me, and one unbreakable representing Jesus. Apart from Jesus, I am easily broken. But bound together with Him, I am unbreakable. Although that was good information, it did not address the “how,” of binding together with Jesus. How do we take on His strength and His power? How do we wait on the Lord?
Some believe that the, “They that wait upon…” means to stop and wait as if we are waiting on a school bus. To the contrary, I believe the waiting actually refers to the process of moving, as in being a “Waiter” who serves the Lord. Reading the verse in its context it refers to having a strength that will keep us going when physical strength has failed. It is, in actuality, taking on our Heavenly Fathers strength when the strength of man has failed. But how do we do this?
The portion of the Hebrew word qavah that I had overlooked is the figurative portion which means to be in expectation. As we become waiters – servers – to the Lord, we are to walk in the full expectation that He will bless us with not only the grace to do whatever He has called us to do but WILL BLESS US WITH HIS PRESENCE. I believe this is where so many, including myself, have fallen short.
Too many times I have waltzed into church with the que sera sera attitude. “Whatever will be, will be.” NO! This is wrong. Whenever we go before the Lord our attitude should be that of expectation. When we pray for someone, our attitude should be one of expectation. When we ask the Lord for something, our attitude must be one of expectation. This is waiting on the Lord; this is binding together with Him. We are not only taking on His strength, we are taking on His faith. We are twisting together with Him becoming as one. As a result, our prayers take on a true faith as we begin to actually believe in what we are praying for.
An attitude of expectation is developed from a heart hungry for a relationship with the Almighty God. Yet, how can a mutual bond occur when the entirety of our relationship is knowledge based only? A marriage built solely on knowledge is a relationship that is doomed for failure. Yes, we are to reverence God. But at the same time, we are to seek a relationship with Him. After all, doesn’t God call us His children and ask that we call Him our Father? Isn’t Jesus also a brother and a friend? These are relationship words coming not from me but from our Lord.
“But those who wait upon the Lord…those who bind together with Him in full expectation that He will work in you, through you, and for you… will 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 40:31 NKJV Expounding Mine.) Be blessed.