Scripture Reading Reflection
Rev. Dr. Donna Giver-Johnston
February 4, 2018
Isaiah says, “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.”
Strength, wings like eagles, running without growing weary, walking without fainting...it sounds awesome! But it all depends on one thing: waiting.
Waiting. It is a helpless state determined by events out of our control--the bus is late? Wait. the doctor is running behind? Wait. the internet is slow? Wait. your child is out past his curfew with the car? Wait. you applied for a job but have not heard? Wait. you had a pet scan to see if cancer came back? Wait. We don’t like to wait. It’s hard to wait. But life makes us wait.
How can we wait? I read something helpful by Henri Nouwen about waiting:
Wait in hope
Much of our waiting is filled with wishes: “I wish that the weather would be better. I wish that the pain would go away.” We are full of wishes, and our waiting easily gets entangled in those wishes. “A lot of our waiting is wishing that the future go in a specific direction and if this doesn’t happen, we are disappointed. This is why we have such a hard time waiting.
But waiting with hope is different. Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled, but fulfilled according to the promises and not just according to our wishes. Hope is open-ended. So if we are willing to let go of our wishes, then something new, beyond our own expectations can and will happen.”
Waiting alone is hard. We get anxious. We get nervous. We get scared. That’s why it means so much when we go to the hospital and wait with someone. Or call or send a card to let them know that they are not alone. “Waiting together is coming together around a promise. Christian community is the place where we keep the flame alive among us and take it seriously so that it can grow and become stronger in us. In this way we can live with courage, trusting that there is a spiritual power in us that allows us to live in this world without giving into despair, and darkness. Waiting together means nurturing what has already begun, expecting its fulfillment.”
Wait in the Word
We live in a time of instant news 24/7 on our phones, tablets, computers, watches! Lots of words, but many are empty and many we distrust. God’s word shows us the way, the truth, and the life. It gives us what we most need: faith, hope, love, and peace. Waiting in God’s word is the key that unlocks the promises, like: “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.” May it be so.