Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? 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. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 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 40:27-31 NRSV
I used to teach my special needs students (and my son when he was very young) what waiting looked like. Waiting is an abstract concept that we expect concrete thinking children to grasp. So, I tried to make it more concrete. Waiting most often looked like drumming one's fingers on one's lap or table... Sometimes it looked like twiddling thumbs.
As I read the above scripture today, I wondered, "What does waiting look like for followers of God?" To wait is more than to sit back and see what comes. To wait is to expect that something will happen. Even the motions I taught the children imply expectation. To wait for God is to expect that God will act, or is acting and will reveal. To wait is to hope.
Hope has been in short supply around our house lately. We don't have high expectations for the corporate world, and admittedly we are reserved in our trust in the appointment system that will have to make an exception around my CPE schedule. As I contemplate today's reading, I realize we are hoping (or not hoping) for the wrong thing. We are hoping for the right job, the right appointment... What we need to be waiting expectantly for is God - for the revealing of God's action in our lives - in this situation.
Part of my struggle with hope these last few weeks has been that there was no "future story" to picture. The canvas before us seems blank. I can, however, wait expectantly for God's revealing. I can hold onto that hope - with God's help, by God's grace.
God of love and light, show me what waiting looks like. Help me wait faithfully. Amen.