Waiting on the Lord – Focus Scripture: Isaiah 40:31
After reading today’s scripture from Isaiah, my thoughts took me back to 1963 when Birmingham, Alabama, stood as an exemplar of racial intolerance in this nation. At the time, Birmingham was a place where Black children could not attend certain schools, play in certain parks, drink cool water from certain fountains, or eat in certain restaurants. Nor could they be born or die in certain hospitals.
Although very much a part of humanity, Black people in America at that time were dehumanized. They were rendered socially separate by Jim Crow laws, hatred, ignorance, and mistrust. While they endured gross injustice, they prayed for the Lord to intervene.
Just when they thought their prayers were not being heard, enter Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a prophet who exhibited patience in the face of adversity during the Civil Rights Movement. In April 1963, near the beginning of a period of protest marches in downtown Birmingham, marchers pressed their way toward city hall. On their way, they were beaten, kicked, and mauled. Daily they were arrested and taken off to jail. But day after day they came back in greater force than the day before, determined to march for justice and to wait on the Lord for deliverance.
Today’s scripture reminds us that in the midst of the world’s adversities, successful waiting requires patience. The prophet Isaiah invited us to trust rather than to doubt, to hope rather than to despair, to have courage rather than to fear. The prophet invited us to be strong and to believe that God is in control.
How long, Lord, must we wait? I don’t have an answer to this question. But I trust that God, in God’s way and time, will renew our strength.
Holy God, give me the strength and courage I need to wait on you. And while I am waiting, grant me your peace. Amen.