February 25, 2016

Isaiah 41:1-16

Sometimes God asks us to wait. I don’t like to wait. Waiting is hard. We live in an era of instant gratification, more so than any other generation. We post on social media from our phones. We record our favorite shows and play them at the moment that is most convenient (to us). If we have a question, we don’t have to ask a neighbor or family member for help or go to the library to look it up, because we can just “google it." All these convenient bits of technology make us forget how to wait patiently. We forget that sometimes the learning happens in the waiting. We forget that sometimes the growing and stretching happens in the waiting. What would happen if God asked us to wait on him? Would we even know how to do that?

The prophet encourages the exiles to wait on the Lord. Good things are coming. Their time of suffering is almost over. Those who wait on the Lord will have renewed strength. God was at work orchestrating world politics to bring into power a new leader, Cyrus, who was benevolent and just. Cyrus would release the exiles and allow them to return home. God reminds his people he has chosen them. He will strengthen them and uphold them with his victorious right hand.

This message of hope is for us, too. Ephesians 1:5 tells us that we are adopted as sons (and daughters) by God. God promises to hold our hand and remind us we have nothing to fear. He will take care of our enemies, and he allows us to work together with him to bring about the victory. In the end, we must remember it is the Lord who takes care of us and we need to give him all the glory. In your prayers today, ask God to show you what you need to do to wait on him. Ask him for help in slowing down and being patient. Offer control if you are still holding it yourself. Ask for guidance in the midst of struggles, and be willing to wait for God’s timing.