Covid invaded our world like an unexpected hurricane. It blew away our security like a tarpaper roof. We never saw it coming. But take courage! God gives us wings to soar above the storm! Our destinies have not been destroyed! “God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according the his power that is at work within us...” Ephesians 3:20
Did you know there can be a positive side to the isolation we’ve experienced during Covid? When we use our time of seclusion to pursue more of God, we become an incubator for His purposes.
DOES SPENDING TIME WITH GOD SEEM OUT OF REACH?
But maybe spending time with God seems out of reach. If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of your life captive to “busyness.” I poured my life into caring for my husband and five children, teaching Sunday school, and discipling people. I spent more time doing things “for” others than I did being “with” them and living in the moment. My mind was always focused on the next task.
I tried to spend time with God. Sometimes I was successful and sometimes I wasn’t. When my kids were little I would get up early to have some quiet time, but more often than not, they would wake up early too. Or I would be up half the night caring for a sick child. Just functioning the next day was all I could handle. Then I would feel guilty that I didn’t spend even fifteen minutes reading scripture. Years later, I discovered that God wasn’t disappointed that I wasn’t punching a time clock with Him. He was more interested in my attitude or “posture” before Him.
HAVE A HUMBLE POSTURE
Covid forced us all to stop and take a breath. It also generated fear in us we didn’t know we had. If I have faith in God, why am I afraid my world is crumbling? Covid brought us to our knees, which is the safest place to be. In this humble posture, we can learn what it means to “wait upon the Lord.”
The first part of Isaiah 40: 31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength...”
When we truly learn what it means to wait on God, He will renew our strength.
The Hebrew word for “wait” in this passage is “qavah”, which means to wait, look for, hope in, or expect. It comes from a root meaning “to bind together.” So here’s my interpretation: We patiently wait as we look toward God, expecting Him to gather us in His arms, connecting us to Him like family. This is our hope.
Most of us have just been “waiting” for Covid to get over. That kind of waiting can frustrate us. We feel weary like we’re dragging a ball and chain on our leg. Couple this with the guilt we feel that we aren’t performing well enough in God’s eyes, and we wish we had the key to unlock this weight.
KEYS TO WAITING
When we learn to wait on the Lord we unlock keys to renewing our strength. Here are a few:
1. Clear your mind
Stop your forward motion. Put the next task on hold. Let go of your “to do” list for a moment.
On more than one occasion I learned the hard way to take a break. When I broke my hip on a prayer walk around my high school, I got stopped in my tracks. Rest and recuperation became my mantra. My “to do” list got tossed in the trash.
2. Center in on Jesus who dwells within you.
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of Susanna Wesley’s prayer apron. She raised ten children, often by herself, and endured many hardships. When she wanted time with the Lord she stopped what she was doing and threw her apron over her head. Her children knew this was her quiet time and left her alone. Two of her kids, John and Charles grew up to bring millions of people to know Jesus.
Maybe you feel like the only opportunity you have to pray is when you say grace at meals. During that one minute of thanking God imagine Jesus sitting with you at the table. Think about His love and goodness. God delights in every moment that we acknowledge Him and honor His presence.
3. The more you practice waiting on God, the more you will find opportunities to be in His presence.
God is not dependent on our schedules. He is always with us. Outwardly, we can see Him reflected in the things He has created. Inwardly, we can honor Jesus who lives within. His goodness can be found everywhere if we look for it. He doesn’t need a litany of our prayers or apologies, only our humble hearts. He desires to be with us.
STRENGTH FLOWS FROM RESTING IN GOD
An afternoon nap can rejuvenate me. I am recharged for the rest of my day. Likewise, amazing strength flows from resting in God.
I love Psalm 46. The psalmist writes about the devastation that surrounds him with descriptive language. “The earth quakes and the mountains topple into the depths of the sea.” And what does God say about all this? “Be still and know that I am God…I rule the nations. I rule the earth.” The psalmist has an “aha” moment with God. Perhaps the Lord’s answer took his breath away. He acknowledges the Lord’s presence by saying, “The Lord of Armies is with us. The God of Jacob is our stronghold.”
As you wait on God, expect to have “aha” moments with Him. It may not happen right away, but it will come. He may speak a word to your heart, or you may sense the peace that accompanies His presence.
BECOME AN INCUBATOR FOR GOD’S PURPOSES
As we practice spending time with Jesus, He begins to reveal the purposes He placed within us. We start to understand our destiny.
Waiting upon the Lord is never wasted. It’s not like checking your watch as you wait in line at the grocery store. It’s more like waiting nine months anticipating the birth of the new thing God has called you to.
Take courage! Like the writer of Psalm 46 we can direct our focus above the the hurricanes of life. Let God give you wings to soar above the storm! Your destiny has not been destroyed. God can give you beyond what you ask for or imagine!