Thursday, November 20, 2014


It has been 16 days since Bob had his heart surgery. The dramatic recovery of the first five days is over. Now he is in the waiting stage as his body continues to heal itself from the trauma of the surgery. He still experiences a lot of soreness in his back and chest.

He sleeps, eats nutritious food, walks around the house for several ten-minute periods each day, does some physical therapy exercises, can shower and care for himself, and can even do a little cooking, but he is still not sufficiently healed to drive or resume all his regular activities. He reads His Bible and other inspirational books and rests frequently. I wait on him--he requires a little less help each day.

With all this waiting, I have been thinking about what it means to wait. One of my favorite Scriptures, Isaiah 40:31, promises "they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint." The one condition to this promise is that we wait upon the Lord.

To determine what a word in the Bible means, I compare Scriptures with other Scriptures. The word wait means "silence" in Psalm 62:1: "Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation...." and "hope or expectation" in v. 5, "My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him."

In Proverbs 8:34, "Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors," wait means "to watch, to observe, to listen, to take notice so as to be ready to serve or minister."

Thus, a definition of the word wait based on Scriptures is "to have the heart hushed or silent in an expectant attitude and to hear what He might say so that we might do His bidding."

Only as we have waited on God can we fly, run, and walk. But the order seems backwards, doesn't it? An airplane taxis and builds up speed in order to take off and fly.

Growing up in Alaska, I had almost daily opportunities to observe bald eagles. I loved to watch them soar above the mountain peaks, above the storms, above the other squabbling species of more earthbound birds.

In his book, Broken Bread, J. W. Follette points out that during our waiting periods, God gives us the bird's eye view. As the Apostle Paul said, "God raised us up...and made us heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that...He might show the exceeding riches of His grace toward us" (Ephesians 2:6, 7). Only when we soar above the mundane things of this present life do we see life from God's point of view. Only then are we ready to do the work God has called us to accomplish. Only then will we be able to run and not grow weary, to walk and not faint.

I'm reminded of the refrain of a song, "He calls me aside to be tested and tried, but in the valley He restoreth my soul."

Our souls are being rested and refreshed in this valley experience. I wonder what God has planned for us to do for Him when this period of waiting is over.

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