Notes from my journal this morning.
“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 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 40:30-31 KJV). By GOD’s grace I will wait upon the LORD. But how I wait is just as important as that I wait. How then do I wait?
“Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street. A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth. He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.” Isaiah 42:1-4 KJV “Behold my servant, whom I uphold…”. I read this and immediately understood that this is the thing to do during what seems like a time, a season of waiting. To wait is an action. There is nothing passive about Biblical waiting. It would seem to include the idea of pulling one’s self together, then patiently, expectantly, in that collected state, to be still, and with everything within you, to set your hope fully on GOD. Isn’t this what Christ did? Oh how unaccustomed to this I am. I try to pull myself together, to collect myself so I can wait, and instantly I find myself in a battle. My mind starts to act out. My thoughts take off like a hundred cats let out of a locked up barn, each one scattering, running off in its own direction. How critical it has to be that while I am waiting that I possess my soul, to take command of it so I can, by a God-given free will, direct it Godward. This is an active waiting, one that has to involve the whole person, body, soul and spirit. No one who collects herself, himself, can do it Biblically, who excludes some part. The heart can’t be in Zion when the mind is set on Babylon. I can’t escape the judgment and destruction of Sodom, and as it is going up in flames be glancing back over my shoulder, with a sense of sorrow, pity and loss.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:1-2 KJV). Doesn’t this tell me that seasons of growth must be followed by times of purging, pruning? Isn’t this part of the lifelong process of sanctification that I should expect, even welcome? Should pruning surprise me? No, on the contrary it should bring a sense of assurance. “…every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”. What then should the branch that has been pruned, cleansed of useless shoots, do? Shouldn’t it “Wait upon the LORD…”? Shouldn’t it pull itself together, and by the grace of GOD, actively wait, and “Behold my servant whom I will uphold…”? This, I think it what the author of Hebrews meant when he wrote, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”. How critical it seems to me that during a time of painful and often confusing pruning, that I pull myself together; wait upon the Lord; Look unto and upon Jesus, and behold him.
And finally, in the waiting, do what the Apostle Paul told the Philippians: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 KJV