Tuesday, August 29, 2017

What waiting has to do with strength

(Edited on August 30, our friend T made it through customs early this morning our time and is now back with her sixteen children. We are so thankful to God for this miracle.)

Waiting to see―a phrase I’ve found myself using a lot lately.

We’re prayerfully waiting to see Wednesday morning if after a mandatory exit for visa renewal our friend T. is allowed back in the Asian country where she has lived for almost twenty years. We hope she may finish raising the sixteen children she mothers.

We’re waiting to see when our neighbors on the Gulf Coast may actually start recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Harvey and when relief agencies might get in. Dear Lord, let these flood waters recede.

We’re waiting to see if another friend who has finished radiation will need chemo―the result still another week away.

I’m waiting to see what a respiratory specialist says about the breathing problems I’ve been having. If it turns out to be a pet allergy, we’ll have to corner the market on antihistamines because it’s going to take a truckload of medicine for me to deal with the critters here.

Waiting. To. See.

I am not a good waiter. I wish I could say otherwise, but I want to do something.

 Now.

 I want to fix these problems, but I can’t. So, here we are. Waiting to see what God will do.

One of the first verses I think of in regard to waiting is Isaiah 40:31.
 
 
“But those who wait upon God get fresh strength” (The Message).
 
I wondered if I might find deeper meaning for “wait” in the original language.

Though I’m no Hebrew scholar, after checking several sources, it seems that the root of the word has to do with, “a collection of fibers that are twisted together to make a strong and firm cord. This same word is also used for the abstract idea of ‘hope.’”

If you examine a rope, it is composed of tightly twisted strands, therein is its strength. Any of those strands alone might break, but together, they endure. So, in these times when we feel unraveled and worn down by distressing headlines and circumstances,  we wrap ourselves tightly with the Lord, and find hope and power to persist in our waiting. Really, shouldn’t we always be tightly wrapped with Him?

It seems paradoxical to me that we should find strength in waiting. In the natural, it is always the opposite. But God’s economy is not ours. Thankfully.

So, we may have been spinning around one way, fraying thread by thread, but now we reverse our course, as He gathers the threads together in one enduring cord of hope with Him.

If you'd like to make a donation to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, HERE for Samaritan's purse. They are also urgently pleading for volunteers to help.

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