But those who wait on 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.” Is. 40:31
What does that mean, “wait on the Lord”? It sounds like I’m waiting for Him to solve my problems. So I looked it up. The Hebrew word for “wait” literally means to “wrap or entwine oneself around” – like a rope that is wrapped around a pole. Perhaps the emphasis of this statement is not so much upon the activity of waiting, but the object of waiting. It is about the Person we are waiting on – wrapping our lives around Our Lord at the center.
Think about it. We all wrap ourselves around something or someone. For some of us it’s alcohol, food, drugs, illicit sexuality, the internet, owning the latest and greatest (fill in the blank here….car, house, trophy wife…), or the pursuit of any other number of false gods and graven images in our lives. The problem is that all of these have a shelf life for filling the hole in our soul and eventually end up draining our vitality rather than renewing it.
And what about the rest of the statement? Sometimes we fly through Life. The song from “South Pacific” comes to mind: “I know how it feels to have wings on your heels and to fly down the street in a trance.” At these wonderful times we seem to “mount up with wings like eagles.” Then there are those times when life is more like running (running to or away from something), “they shall run and not be weary.” But if we’re honest, most of the time life is simply a matter of walking and perseverance, “they shall walk and not faint.”
Missionary and author, Dr. John Oswald Sanders has something to say on this:
“The hardest part of the journey is neither the start nor the finish, but the middle mile. There is the enthusiasm of a new undertaking that buoys you at the beginning and there is the thrill of reaching the goal that carries you down the home stretch; but it is the middle mile—when you are a long way from the start and home is still distant—that tests the mettle of the traveler.”
And we are all travelers on this journey to Our Heavenly Jerusalem. As a new (and enthusiastic) convert to the Catholic faith, this daily decision to put the Lord at the center of my life has made all the difference. Praise be to God – I no longer run the race alone.