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But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

This is a most unusual verse if you really ponder on it.

How can waiting – as in being dormant and inactive - produces more energy?

Yet this idea is not an isolated one as other examples abound in the Bible.

Waiting is a rich word.

It can mean being attentive and waiting for instructions, not unlike the way a waiter waits for the person he is serving to gesture. If you have been in a good restaurant before you may have noticed how a good waiter anticipates and reacts to your every gesture of hand, eye and body movement.

It can mean waiting in terms of time. There is a period of inactivity till one receives the signal to act, not unlike how an army captain waits for the general to give the signal before leading his charge in

It can also mean pausing to gather renewed strength in the midst of strenuous physical activity. A runner slows down or stops to recover his breath so that he can continue his journey and reach his destination. The proverbial story of the tortoise and the hare comes to mind.

In Church-speak and tradition, generally it is taken to mean that one should be attentive to the Lord and seek for His wisdom, strength or direction. The essence of this term is about one being in relationship with God. Being able to listen to God. Being aware of His presence. There is spiritual attention to Him. In fact, Jesus Himself taught that without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).

The modern, global and urban life – and all three terms describe Singapore well – does not make waiting easy. It is not just the busyness, but a philosophy of life and work that drives you from one point to the other. Just as you finish one thing, you are preparing for the next. Your attention is shifting all the time, on the piece of work that needs to be done or an event which needs attending. There is little room to pause, pray and reflect. To be conscious of the presence of another, be it God or even our colleagues, friends and family member.

Learn to wait upon God and you will live well and not get wearied. As some of you advance in years and your physical faculties begin to dim, your spirit is alive because life has been one big waiting upon God and you enjoy His presence (forevermore! - Psalm 16:11).

We can be glad that we have returned to an onsite Prayer Meeting. For this coming one, we will be spending more time in “worship and waiting.” Just come and be refreshed in His presence.

Let’s encourage one another to wait upon Him.


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