Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, February 22

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

What does the word wait mean to you? I tend to think of it as a Stop sign, a hand of caution raised before I take an action. But that is not how the prophet Isaiah means it in this passage.

Isaiah is speaking to people about to be released from exile in Babylon, and he tells them to do two things: one is to hope, to expect that Yahweh, the Lord, will renew them. The second thing he tells them to do is to acknowledge their dependence upon Yahweh. Armed with those two states of mind, they can indeed be assured that Yahweh will strengthen and empower them.

What are you "waiting" for? What exile is God calling you out of? The Lenten season is a particularly meaningful time to ask those questions because Lent is a time for reflection and repentance. Devoting this Lent to those two questions can be vastly more helpful than "giving up" something. When we ask ourselves probing questions (that we don't already know the answers to), we allow God to guide us deeper and deeper into ourselves, an inner journey that is vitally important.

Even as I am writing this meditation, I realize that I am not at all sure what my answers to those questions are, so I am going to take my own advice. Won't you join me as we prepare for this Lenten journey? If we travel this inner road until Good Friday, we very well may have a whole new Easter this year. Godspeed, should you decide to travel along.

Almighty and Everliving God, help us to open our lives to you, and to wait for you as we have never waited before. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.