Advent: “The Waiting Room”
God’s People Are Comforted
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;31 but those who wait for 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.” (Isaiah 40:28-31 NRSV)
A waiting room is a building, or more commonly a part of a building or a room, where people sit or stand until the event or appointment which they are waiting for begins.
Two types of waiting room are: a) Waiting rooms where one is asked to wait—private waiting rooms—these are personal and individualized. b) Waiting rooms one can enter at will— public waiting rooms. As we think of this in the spiritual realm, a church can be a public waiting room where groups of people come together to pray and wait on God. In both waiting rooms we are waiting on God to answer our prayers—to change our circumstances.
The 40th chapter of Isaiah begins a section of the book that deals primarily with preparing the people of Judah for their captivity in Babylon. In chapter 39:6 of Isaiah, the prophet said to King Hezekiah: “Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord.”
In these verses – Isaiah. 40:28-31 – Isaiah teaches some of the great truths about God; truths that would bring healing to the wounded souls of those who would endure the distress and sorrow of captivity. I believe this passage is full of practical truths that the faithful people of God can depend upon, under any circumstance of suffering, loss and grief.
The text gives us three fundamental things about God:
1) GOD IS AWARE! Those of us who are tempted to be impatient, forgetful and of little faith Isaiah said: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.” That means that since God is the Creator, then God is aware of everything—especially of what is going on in our lives–God’s beloved children.
2) GOD IS ABLE. “…He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30 Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted. We are reminded that God does not lack strength, instead God supplies it when we call on God. No one is exempt from being overwhelmed and weary—not even the young. But God is able to sustain us when we call on God. “God neither slumbers nor sleeps” (Psalms 121:4)
3) GOD IS AVAILABLE. God is available, to renew the strength of “those who wait” on God.
To wait on God means sincere and steady dependence on God, with an obedient trust – and no misgivings about God’s faithfulness, in doing what God says, nor about our need to obey God. 31 but those who wait for 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.”
Now, what do we do if we are trying to trust God in a very uncertain, difficult situation, constantly praying for an answer, but no answer comes?
Then we must enter God’s Waiting Room: When we are stuck in a difficult situation, constantly praying, only to be met with silence, we must enter. It can be a frustrating and even a frightening place to be! But the reality is that we sometimes change and grow the most during times of waiting.
Other Scripture Reference: Waiting for the Coming of the Messiah – Luke 2:25-35 ( Simeon); Luke 2:36-38 (Anna)