Waiting Upon the Lord Renews My Strength
“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)
“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall
be opened unto you for every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (Matthew 7:7-11)
This verse sounds pretty straightforward, right??? But it’s not. When I apply these principles to my own life, I find that God has always fulfilled my needs but not always my every heart’s desire in my timeframe. Indeed, sometimes, we mix the two up and when we ask and don’t receive, we feel that God has somehow failed us.
To this end, we can use our own life cycle as an analogy. As kids, we asked for everything. Remember the “but please, I really need that new transformer or cabbage patch doll” phrase? Or, we had to be allowed to use the phone, right then and there. It didn’t matter that dad was on an important work call or mom was trying to get through to the doctor’s office because the baby was really sick. Our desires were not being met at the exact moment that we wanted them to be met.
It does not get better as we get older either. As teenagers, we want the best clothes. They need labels that our peers can recognize. We HAD to have that brand new CD by that really cool band…..even though we really only liked one song and didn’t even own a CD player. If that boy or girl we liked, didn’t like us back we got all dramatic and weird (yes, teenagers are like this — no sense denying it ;)). We wanted the coolest cars to add to this lifestyle statement. That family station wagon that we needed to fit everyone was just not going to work.
Moving forward as adults, we want the best job NOW. There is none of this working our way up to the top, or proving first that we are capable of managing responsibility. We just want to start in the highest paid positions. We desire the best home, furnished with the finest things. We want to party without consequence. It’s even okay if we look and smell bad (maybe nap on our break) because we are young, and its our right — correct? We want the best car, always brand new because “used” just doesn’t fit the image we have of ourselves. And then as parents, our kids need to be perfect — and no one better say different or the “crazy parent” will come out of hiding. Oh and by the way, our relationships are always perfect too. Does this sound familiar?!?!
We tend to get upset if God doesn’t give us what we want…..even though He regularly provides us with what we need. I have lived this which is why I can attest to this type of thinking.
Still, I remember my step mom telling me to pray for exactly what I was looking for in a husband. She told me to be specific. Lots of details in that prayer and make sure you write it down so you are sure before you ask for it. Then she told me to wait and let God answer my prayer. I was really impatient….lol! I asked but God made me wait. I didn’t like waiting. Instead I met a bunch of Mr. Wrongs before I finally let Him do what He was going to do anyway. In that context, I could have saved myself two years of misery if I had only been patient.
Now this same lifestyle has filtered down to my son. Indeed, Keagan asks me for stuff all the time. He rarely get the things he wants, mostly because I’m trying hard (with little success) to teach him to save his money. But this I do know. He always has what he needs. He has all the important stuff. He is well fed (he’s currently going through his fourth growth spurt since September — sigh, he eats all the time). He has more clothes than I currently do…..and he is growing out of them faster then I can shop. He lives in a beautiful home, and almost always get to sit in the front seat of the car. He is happily enrolled in whatever activities he wants so that he can fully engage in his world. However, this is not to suggest that I plan to buy him an X-box or a brand new cell phone. Those are “wants” that he can buy on his own ;))
So, my concluding point is two-fold. Pray for what your heart desires but be patient. The Lord will never fail in any of His promises for us if we would only seek Jesus and His righteousness. (Romans 8) At the same time, we are not God. So we can’t see the big picture for our life yet. But He does, and He will give us our heart’s desires if we would only seek Him in our day to day. The other point is that doing it our way will only postpone the great stuff the Lord wants to bless us with each day. This is the day that the Lord hath made — be glad and rejoice!