by Pastor Mark Jordan

“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, NKJV)

Today we press pause on our series about being called in order to observe Groundhog Day. Do you have any long-held Groundhog Day traditions? Any favorite dinner dishes you serve? What about a special place you visit, apart from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, of course? Ok, ok, I jest. This certainly isn’t a holiday when the world comes to a stop, but that doesn’t mean we can’t glean something about God.

Groundhog Day is essentially about waiting. We have to wait for spring to come, breaking the grip of winter, but for how long? Winter will end. Spring will come…in 46 days…12:15pm on March 20 to be exact. Is that good enough, though? We know spring will come, but what we look forward to is the experience of the warmer weather, longer days, budding trees, blooming plants, and greening grass. We long to experience the reality that life returns amidst the cold of winter.

Are you going through a period of winter right now? I don’t mean a seasonal winter, but a spiritual winter. How much longer do you have to layer up to protect from the cold? To brace yourself against the biting wind? To illuminate the lingering darkness? To wait for evidence of new life? It will come, even though you might have to wait.

We don’t like to wait very much, do we? We live in an instant gratification world with Instant Pots, streaming services, and the information superhighway in the palm of your hand, so waiting can be hard. Yes, waiting might be hard, but it is an essential spiritual discipline. It is about living life in a posture of expectation and hope. Trusting in God’s character and goodness is fundamental to being able to wait. Waiting on the Lord necessitates two key elements: a complete dependence on God, and a willingness to allow Him to decide the terms, including the timing of His plan. Trusting God with the timing of events is admittedly one of the hardest things to do, but it teaches us how to rest in the Lord when we otherwise would be restless. To wait on the Lord is to rest in the confident assurance that, regardless of the details or difficulties we face in this life, God never leaves us alone.

Are you in a period of waiting? Don’t lose heart. Be bold. Be confident. Trust God. He won’t leave you, even though you might have to wait for now.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NKJV).

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for always being with me. Help me to trust and live expectantly, hopefully. I know you will never leave me, so help me to learn from you and be strengthened by you, even while I wait. I lift this prayer in Jesus’ holy name. Amen.