Friday, March 14, 2014

What does it mean to "Wait upon the LORD"? (Isa.40:31)

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run,
And not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Thy Lord at Thy feet my prostrate heart is lying,
Worn with the burden weary of the way;
The world's proud sunshine on the hills is dying,
And the morning's promise fades with parting day;
Yet in Thy light another morn is breaking,
Of fairer promise, and with pledge more true,
And in Thy life a dawn of youth is waking
Whose boundless pulses shall this heart renew.
Lord, at Thy Feet
George Matheson

To wait upon the Lord, instead of being a weak or languid form of faith, is the form that shows most of its endurance and power. Not doubt it is an expression which brings out the quiet side of the spiritual life. But our text states this important and too much forgotten secret of that life – that it is just such quiet confidence in God that maintains and revives grace in the soul.
         It means an abiding attitude of trustful dependence upon God; it means all that is wrapped up on those beautiful verses, “O rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him”; it means trust in the Lord at all times, for with Him is everlasting strength, and have no confidence in self. But the prophet has a deeper thought than this. There are many things for which we can only ask and then wait in quiet stillness, things which we cannot help God to give us, things which God Himself bestows without our aid, if we are ever to possess them. There are times when the soul is so utterly spent that God bends over our voiceless misery as the Good Samaritan bent over the speechless man, and not waiting for those trembling pallid lips to ask, poured oil and wine into his wounds, and lifted up his almost passive frame, and set him on his own beast.
         The praying spirit can be granted to a man as his soul is in the attitude of prayer. Then we are like a bird with outstretched pinions, poised betwixt earth and heaven, waiting in the atmosphere of God for the knowledge of the work we have to do. And as the bird descends to the nest on the earth which it can see from afar, so we should descend to our duties unperceived except we were on high with God. There, the heart open to God, the soul responsive to His influences, lifted above the meanness of earth, we get a true perspective of our duty; we have a high courage, we see what is required of us, and seeing, we descend to do it. It is easy for us in our hours of silent communion with God to feel the meaning of things – the meaning never put into words, for heaven comes near and illuminates earth. Nay, rather we discover that earth and heaven are one.



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