I Can’t Wait!
By: Kristine Brown
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength…” - Isaiah 40:31, ESV
Have you ever anticipated something so much that you used this phrase? “I can’t wait!” Lately, these three little words have become a big part of my vocabulary. During a hard season, the words offer expectancy for getting through all the things and arriving at something better. Of course, I know I can wait, but I use the expression to show my excitement for things to come.
I can’t wait to see you.
I can’t wait for vacation.
I can’t wait to feel better again.
I can’t wait to move past this and get back to normal.
Sometimes our can’t waits are filled with hope for the future - like the arrival of a new baby into the world, the return of a loved one who’s been away a long time, or a move to a long-awaited new home. But then there are those other can’t waits. The ones that say, “I’m tired of all this. When will it end? Why does everything have to be so difficult? Will I ever get a reprieve?”
When we’re surrounded by our deepest hurts, we long for it to be over. And as we struggle through another day, it’s perfectly normal to hope for a better one. Instead of excitement for the future, the familiar phrase represents the struggle with whatever we face in the moment. The words below spoken by the prophet Isaiah can help us change perspective about our current waiting while still anticipating things to come.
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31 ESV
Isaiah represented a voice of encouragement to the Judeans living in exile. They knew the reality of going through a hard season - one that seemed like it would never end. I can’t fathom all they went through back then, but I can understand how they must’ve had the same thoughts I’ve had so many times.
“I can’t wait for this to be over. I can’t wait to get past this hard season so things will be right again.”
But in the waiting, God showed them He was there. He hadn’t forgotten them. Our Almighty God used Isaiah to share a Holy Spirit-inspired message with His people. He knew they looked at their situation in light of their past sins, so He showed them how to see it in light of their future hope.
When we read other translations of this verse, we get a picture of what waiting on the Lord really means. The New Living Translation puts it this way, “those who trust in the Lord,” replacing the word wait with trust. The New International Version also makes an adjustment, trading the word wait with hope, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.”
Therein lies the answer - the key to waiting well. When we fall into despair over life’s struggles and find ourselves just waiting for things to get better, let’s remember God’s promise through Isaiah. Whatever our current circumstances, we can let the words “I can’t wait!” mean trusting God today while still hoping for a better tomorrow. God will renew our strength in the wait.
Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing inspiration that highlights God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. You’ll find weekly encouragement to help you “become more than yourself through God’s Word” at her website, kristinebrown.net. Kristine is the author of the book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan, and the companion devotional for teen girls.
Originally published Thursday, 26 May 2022.