I’m thinking today of a time when I felt thrown into the lion’s den like Daniel or into the pit like Joseph.
Our son was in his middle school years when it began—negligence, mild rebellion, teen stuff. In high school, things escalated. Where did we go wrong? We had a loving, caring, Christian home. How could this be happening?
We took one step forward and two steps backward—over and over.
I drew on so many verses during those turbulent years, but one verse became a stalwart lifeline for me.
. . . but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength . . . Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
When you feel so feeble, so lacking in what to do next, so unable to cope, what is the remedy for renewing your strength? The King James Version suggests that we have to wait, wait upon the Lord. Oh, how we hate to wait for anything in our instant society, but our verse reminds us not just to wait, but wait upon the Lord. It is then that our strength is renewed.
The New International Version (NIV) translates,
. . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
As you think about it, if we are waiting for something there is an element of anticipation and hope. By the same token, if we are hoping for something we don’t yet have; we have to wait.
For me, there was a sense of peace in thinking that the Lord was with me, he would sustain me and strengthen me but I must wait on Him.
The next promise is, “they will soar on wings as eagles” (NIV)
I did a little study of eagles, particularly noting that eagles roost in very high places. When they are ready to take flight, they wait patiently for an upwind, then they take flight letting the strength of the wind help them glide and soar.
It was becoming obvious to me that before I could soar, I had to do a lot of waiting—years, in fact. As I prayed in that vein, God renewed my strength. Let’s look at a fuller view of the passage.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, young men stumble and fall; BUT those who [wait and] hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar of wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:29-31
We’re not talking about glibly hoping or laying around waiting, but hoping in the Lord. That means much time in prayer, literally crying out to him. In the darkest of times, in the weariest moments, this was a sustaining verse for me. Tears come even now as I write this.
But oh, the miracle God performed in our son’s life, turning him completely around, hungering for the Word. What a joy he continues to be in our lives with his wife and five (yes, five) children!
~ Joyce ~