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. (Isaiah 40:31)
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentations 3:25,26)
Wait, the very word seems to carry its own heaviness, weight if you like. For many this is a season we find ourselves in. Feeling led or forced out of previous work or ministries or relationships, and in to a place where little clarity exists, other than to wait…wait on the Lord. For He is birthing a new movement, and season, and it needs us to come aside to Him. He also needs to deal with that which He has drawn us out of.
Often this word wait also seems to come back in to our face when we pursue the Lord in prayer. For the answer seems to often be, ‘all good things come to those who wait”! And finally, it was one of the great commands of our Lord Jesus, to wait on His return, watching with earnest passion as if He comes tomorrow, and yet it may not be for many years. How can such a wait be possible.
In the end, such waiting is an act of faith, and by the Lord’s grace, with hope. Hanging in there, patiently dealing with the uncertainty and pain, by leaning closing in to the Lord there is a beautiful act of love and faith. It may not seem like it at the time, and often the challenge is to hold on not to give up, and yet somehow, we can wait. There is a clue to the importance of ‘waiting on the Lord’, in the word itself.
When we look in to the original Hebrew word for wait, we see an interesting picture unfold.
Original Word: קָוָה
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (kaw-vaw’)
The meaning is simply translated ‘to wait upon or for, and yet the word also speaks of binding together (perhaps by twisting), gathering together, to expect, patiently, tarry, look/watch, wait on.
So while we see the ‘wait’ and ‘tarry’ emerge, also we see the curious sense that this is about being entwined, gathering together, with expectancy. So, as we wait on the Lord, we are being further drawn in to Him, entwined deeper in to His heart, and together with Him we can wait. It would also suggest it is good to wait together with others. In this waiting we draw in to the presence of God, and so His power.
The essential need for waiting then becomes more apparent, for it is this time we come closer to God, and with each other (when we are waiting on something together). This blessing coming as we set our heart on God and look to Him. The Lord Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God, and to love each other, and by waiting together on the Lord we very much obey this command and access its power for love.
The start of the church came as the apostles and disciples followed the command to wait.
Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:49)
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4,5)
And while the original Greek words for tarry (english version ‘kathizo’) and wait (eng. ‘perimeno’), certainly carry extra depth to these words, with senses of wait, patient, tarry, wait in a place, dwell, be present, remand, steadfast, about, to settle, hover, set apart, in the round, around, sit, settled (its done), it is the action of these apostles that reveals the deeper meaning. For they to waited together on the Lord, in the round (all equal), and were drawn closer together, and in to the heart of God. It was surely the intent of our Lord Jesus when He said ‘wait’.
And here is the deep mystery of this command. For in the waiting we are accessing the ancient word of God, this eternal word still being declared by His creation, and speaks of His destiny for all creation, and His love for us, the hope we have in Him, and His act that brings us in to true rest. Consider these verses.
‘The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
Day unto day utters speech,
And night unto night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech nor language
Where their voice is not heard.
Their line[sound] has gone out through all the earth,
And their words to the end of the world’. (Psalm 19:1-4)
‘But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed:
“Their sound has gone out to all the earth,
And their words to the ends of the world.”’ (Romans 10:18)
The word in the ancient Hebrew word ‘qav’ translated to ‘line’, and also ‘sound’, points also to the wait of the Lord.
Original Word: קַו
Phonetic Spelling: (kav)
This word has as it roots the words for wait (‘qavah’), with the binding together by twisting, collect, expect, wait, look, tarry; and, ‘qaveh’, a measuring line, cord, a musical string or accord, line, and rule. And thus, speak of a line that is created by the sound of His word when considering the context of the verses, and this Paul’s reference to it in Romans.
Therefore, as we wait, we also position ourselves to hear the words and sounds that go out like lines, and thus as we listen entwine us to the heart of God and what He speaks to us. As Paul so bluntly points out in Romans, all creation declaring these words, so we are without excuse. These words speak of God creativity, His desire for us to dwell with Him, of the Light and darkness, of fruitfulness, and diversity, and that through the Son of Man we can find true rest in God. This is most definitely the simplified version of the greater depth this word which has been speaking since the beginning of creation…when it is written that the Lord said, “Let there be…”. The words carry the same creative power that they did as the formation of the worlds, and so as we wait we hear them, and access their potential.
Simply put, these words of God go out, and as we wait on the Lord we begin to hear them, and they draws us in to Him and each other…with the potential for great creative power. Is it any wonder we are asked to wait on Him, for then we draw nearer to Him, hear His heart, and He empowers for destiny?