Remember John's prophetic cry...taken from Isaiah 40:3-5 "The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it." Sounds like the ground will be level for everyone at the foot of the cross. The rest of the chapter describes a powerful God so big that all our obstacles must appear as nothing to Him. But, that's not how we feel on the roller coaster ride of life is it?
Today began the weeklong Jewish Feast of Passover, a celebration of leaving Egyptian slavery. This week, Christians will remember leaving the bondage of sin on resurrection Sunday. Jesus was our Passover Lamb. But, ever thought about how long the Israelites waited in bondage before they tasted the Passover Lamb? They lived in Egypt 430 years. How long did the Jewish people wait for a Messiah? A lot of waiting for deliverance can be calculated here.
What are you waiting for right now? Yes, we're all waiting on something: the check in the mail, graduation, the birth of a child, the wedding day, payday, the doctor's report, daybreak. Yet, when we reach the expected mountain peak, it will be followed by a valley, and then another mountaintop to climb. And, all that waiting will tally up to a lifetime. I try to remind myself that it's the individual days that matter. But, that's easy to forget when you're waiting in line.
The last verse in that chapter says, "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." I never understood the waiting part of this verse, until last week. I often see it hanging on our wall when I wake up in the morning, on a large framed picture of an eagle that Larry had before we were married. I'm usually taken aback when I notice it. But, Saturday when my eyes opened groggily and landed on the eagle, I realized for the first time the why of waiting. I thought about how our bodies need a rest. Waiting, or resting, on God will make us stronger in the same way that taking a rest day each week will help our bodies become stronger when we workout at the gym 6 days a week, but never seven. If you take that rest day, you run faster, pedal harder, shock your body into losing more weight during the next day's workout. Those Boston marathoners this morning seemed to take flight, but never would have tried the race without rest.
That's where we get our strength for the ups and downs in life, while we are waiting. When you wait by your loved one's bedside as death approaches, it's because God is giving you the strength you will need to say goodby. When you wait for a son or daughter to call, God is giving you strength to be what they will need you to be. While I wait for my body to heal from all these surgeries, God is giving me strength for the days that will follow. Waiting is so much easier when you know what you are waiting for...what's at the end of the ride.