Sunday, February 17, 2008

wait

I could use some running and not being wearing about now…
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 40:30–31)

I know what it is to be exhausted. I have faced that in my life, primarily in my college and Peace Corps years. I am not now exhausted. I am tired. I am productively busy. I am keeping up with most things, and falling behind on others. I am, in these aspects, leading a normal life, as far as I can tell. I go to church, and I yawn a bit from not sleeping in, but I focus on the sermon and I pray. Except that these meditations have been making me more thoughtful during the day, I may not seriously pray much by myself during the week. I want that strength Isaiah spoke about. How do I get it? By waiting? What does that mean?

In fact, this whole chapter of Isaiah, despite being beloved and well-known, is perplexing in its logic. It begins with comfort and the proclamation that God will even out the ground, making rough places plain, and his glory will be known throughout the earth. Then it talks about how fleeting human life is, no more enduring than the grass of the field. Next, a return to good news: the shepherd of Israel is returning! He is coming with strength and compassion! There follows an extended discussion of how no other god or creature is worth comparing to the Lord, the God who is. And because of that, we are nothing before him. Nothing we do can be hidden from him. He is all-powerful and inscrutable. Yet that means he knows us intimately, and he can and will uplift those who are struggling. This already is good news and a promise: that God saves his people from their struggles; later he will save them from their guilt.

So can we wait for the fulfillment of our hope? That we will know God and his immense power? I guess that big picture can lift us from any dreariness we might find in daily living. I want that promise. I have it. I will wait, and hope, and maybe with that I’ll find my feet moving more lightly in the present. I can tell that I barely even understand the promise, because my faith is so small. I’m glad God is more patient than I am, and that he will continue to pursue me to give me blessings.
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.

1 comment:

Leon Estes said...

Hello, Joshua. Thank you for deciding to blog during Lent this year. I have read some of your writings starting in February. Not being either a Catholic nor an Episcopal Believer, I do not understand some of your references. I am a simple Christian of the Pentecostal Persuasion, and not nearly as well-versed in the Bible as you. I do appreciate your meditations and encourage you to keep it up, even after LENT. You have written selected stanzas of selected songs from time to time, and that is what interests me too. I have heard some ministers propose the idea that "waiting on God" does not mean 'standing around waiting'; they propose it refers more to being a "WAITER", such as in a restaurant. The "WAITER" does not stand around, but rather "serves". So, this is something to consider when you meditate about Isiah 40.