Wait upon the Lord
Throughout the book of Psalms we are admonished, “Wait upon the Lord.” And Isaiah tells us that, “They who wait upon 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.”
But hearing and heeding are two different matters. How do we learn to wait instead of rushing headlong into hurry and worry?
James Truslow Adams once made this suggestion: “Perhaps it would be a good idea, fantastic as it sounds, to muffle every telephone, stop every motor, and halt all activity for an hour some day to give people a chance to ponder for a few minutes on what it is all about; why they are living, and what they really want.” That first, I think. If we would wait on the Lord we must learn to pause. Pausing can make a big difference.
To pray is to wait upon the Lord. Alfred Lord Tennyson in one of his poems tells us “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” And people who pray testify to this truth. Through your prayers and mine God accomplishes that which all of our anxiety and worry can never accomplish.
To practice patience is to wait upon the Lord. Patience is needed every day of our lives, whether it is painting a picture, rearing a son or daughter, building a happy marriage, or helping to bring peace to a troubled world.
Finally, if you would wait upon the Lord, learn to persevere. Jacob Reis was a social reformer who over a lifetime cleared the slums of New York. He often said that discouragement was his biggest obstacle.
He made it a practice when things were going from bad to worse to go to the masonry and watch the stonecutters at work. Sometimes a worker would strike as many as one hundred blows with no results. Then with the one hundredth and one blow the stone would split in two. Then Jacob Reis would remind himself that it was not the final blow that did the job, but all of the hundred blows before it.
Wait upon the Lord as you pause, as you pray, as you practice patience. And you shall renew your strength, you shall mount up with wings like eagles, you shall run and not be weary, you shall walk and not faint.
Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he was senior minister for 23 years. He writes a religious column for several newspapers.