I have three sons Max, Gus and Nate. Believe it or not, from time to time they actually fight over who gets what toys. Sometimes my oldest son Max will be playing with a toy and the younger ones will somehow take it from him. Now Max is much bigger and stronger so he can just take it back and overpower his younger brothers, but if I am present and Max begins to use force I will say, “Max, wait.” If Max doesn’t listen chaos ensues. Usually not knowing his own strength, Max bruises and hurts his little brothers they begin crying, Max gets angry, I get angry and it’s just a mess. If Max waits and listens I easily convince my younger sons to hand over the toy and everyone is happy. Peace settles over the land.
Just as my son Max is wise to wait on his father to act on his behalf, sometimes the best decision we can make to improve our lives is to wait on our heavenly Father and trust in his timing. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they who wait for the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” I love that image from Isaiah. Waiting on the Lord strengthens us, makes it so we can soar. We are not waiting in a kind of bored passive way the way we would wait to get on a bus or train or at a doctor’s office. We wait expectantly so we can soar, so we can fly, so we can grow stronger. Waiting on the Lord and trusting in his timing prepares us to be stronger and build more endurance. We are waiting on the Lord not just so we can get by and kind of get through life, but so that we will be successful and experience abundant joy and freedom like an eagle soaring. God will intervene but he makes us wait because in that waiting we are being strengthened, God is building our character.
The reading from Habakuk says, “The rash man has no integrity, but the just man because of his faith shall live.” Often we think of integrity as good ethics or morals, but integrity means more than that. Integrity means completed, wholeness, integrated. If we step back from our problems instead of rashly running ahead and trying to fix them and allow God into them, God won’t only help us with our problems, he will heal us, he will make us more whole, complete and integrated in our character. When my son Max waits to get the toy not only is there more peace and less chaos, but he learns patience. Max is growing in his ability to control himself, he is getting stronger and learning he can trust his father. When we wait on the Lord and his timing, we grow stronger in character and build trust in our heavenly Father. The rash man has no integrity but the just man because of his faith will live.
As we begin our series, where do you have a problem or area you want to grow and get stronger? Is it your marriage? Is it better use of your finances or getting out of debt? Is your family struggling? Invite the Lord into your problem and recognize you will have to wait on him, that God will put you on a path to solving your problem but it will take time. If you wait on him, you will not only overcome your problem you will soar and be lifted up on wings like eagles.