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 strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those 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 40:28-31
Isaiah says to wait for the Lord. Frankly, I don’t know if I like the advice. Do you? I want to prepare, strike out on my path, excel, succeed. Don’t you? When I face a challenge, I want to overcome it. I want to be smart enough, fast enough, strong enough. When I fall down, I want to pick myself up by my own bootstraps. Don’t you?
The problem I keep running into, though, is that I can’t keep it up forever—my smarts run out, I slow down, or I’m not as strong as I once was. And even if I can keep it together—many others won’t. They say you don’t need to be fast to outrun a bear: you just need to be faster than the person next to you. We all want to be the hero of the film, but most of us will end up looking more like the extras. For us to succeed, many others will have to fail.
But haven’t you heard?! There is one who never grows tired, who never stumbles—the Lord Almighty! His power and his strength never decrease or run out.
The unbelievable thing about the Lord Almighty is that he loves to share his power and strength with others. When your strength runs out, he does not keep his to himself but freely gives it away. He is no less generous than he is powerful. Therefore, nobody needs to fall to the wayside for the Lord Almighty to succeed because he will share his strength with whoever needs it. It is astounding to me that the Lord is so strong and at the same time so generous.
Isaiah just says all you need to do is wait.
So how do you wait for the Lord? I don’t think it always means waiting around doing nothing (although practicing doing nothing is probably better than a lot of the things we try to do). One way to wait for the Lord is to be still and see how he is acting—what is he up to?—and to act in line with that. As you go about your daily life, especially during these uncertain times—preparing for the future, caring for those around you, working—try to be quietly observant of how the Lord is acting in it all and follow that. If you strike out on your own way, your strength will fail you. But when you wait for the Lord and act in line with him, you will find that he gives you a strength that doesn’t fail.