Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Larry Pray

Monday, October 27

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 40:31

At first glance, time is an unlikely addition to the Leading Causes of Life. But it is a necessary ingredient. We connect with ideas, God and other people over time. Over time we find ways to make sense of life. Over time we do things, and react to the changes life brings. And over time we notice the ebbs and flows of hope. It is tempting, of course, to seize the moment as if it is the only moment.

But sometimes we need to give time a chance.

“Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,” today's verse begins. How odd it is that a verse that leads to our flying, running and walking begins with waiting. It seems almost counterintuitive. Shouldn't we report to flight school, or do laps at the track to improve our stamina?

Slow down, scripture seems to say. It is the act of waiting for God to do something that will renew our strength. Waiting, it turns out, is full of promise, full of focus, and full of hope and, in the end, full of blessing. All that is needed is time.

During months of rehabilitation following a stroke, I was an impatient patient. I wanted to return to work “right now.”  I wanted to prove to myself, and others, that nothing would hold me back.

“Be patient,” my counselors advised.

“But . . .,” I replied.

“Be patient,” they advised again.

One day, I asked if I might lead a worship service just to prove that I could still be a pastor. They gave in, I brought an altar cloth, and we turned to Isaiah.

“Wait,” said the verse.

“Oh my,” I said to myself.

And then I saw the progression. Waiting gives way to flying, which gives way to running, which gives way to walking. It is patience that claims the day. If you are to live your life, first wait for a while and trust that walking is the loving culmination of God's promise.

God of Life, stay with us as we wait and remind us that while soaring is compelling, and running admirable, it is our walk with you that brings us home. In Jesus' name, Amen.