“He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:29-31)
Waiting in lines, we all have to endure it from time to time. Waiting in waiting rooms, waiting in check-out lines, waiting to fall asleep, or one of my least favorites – waiting in traffic. According to an NPR report, the average American spends two to three years of his or her life waiting in line. My Ukrainian friends would agree that they must spend at least five. I’m not sure how that compares to the rest of the planet, but that is a lot of time.
Yesterday I was contemplating the concept of waiting and the natural frustrations that often accompany it while we were at the U.S. Embassy in Manila waiting to renew our daughters’ passports. The frustration arose when we were told that we could wait even though we may not get an appointment; however, we could not leave our documents. We had to FedEx the documents to the very same office even though we were holding them at that moment. There was no logic in that, so we waited and were finally successful in completing the process.
My thoughts digressed to how people spend their time while waiting. This is a serious topic for consideration if you live in a large city. If I know I will have to wait, I usually take a book or something I have to get done along with me. But when that is not possible, there is inevitably a large amount of thinking time. I was browsing a bookstore recently when a humorous title caught my eye, “Blank: The Power of Not Actually Thinking at All”. It was obviously a parody on the book “Blink”. But our minds are never really neutral ground.
In our own personal universe of thoughts, God wants to shed light on situations, giving us wisdom and encouragement. He wants to debunk our pre-conceived ideas with life-giving, illuminating truth. What if we spent all of that accumulated waiting time conversing with God and thinking thoughts that bring encouragement, faith and wisdom? Life is often stressful and anxious thoughts can multiply quickly. Thoughts like these weigh us down and bring discouragement. But if we turn to God, His consolations will bring delight to us.
What if the majority of our waiting time was spent waiting on God? Our strength would be renewed. Life can be too busy to postpone taking time to think about God and converse with Him. Take hold of all that waiting time, and see if you find your strength being renewed and your stress diminishing. What if?
“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)