Waiting Upon the Lord

At the end of Isaiah 40, the prophet draws a sharp contrast: The strongest among us will eventually fail. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall.” Our strength and our endurance is limited, and we will all face challenges we cannot overcome on our own. But if we can draw upon the strength of our infinite Creator, then the equation changes: “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 40:30-31).

The key word in this passage is “wait.” We can have God’s power in our lives, but we can’t control the timing. To receive His power, we must exercise faith in Him, including being patient.

In later chapter, Isaiah reassures us, “They shall not be ashamed that wait for me” (Isaiah 49:23). Both Nephi and his brother Jacob quoted this passage (1 Nephi 21:23, 2 Nephi 6:7), and Jacob offered the following explanation: “The people of the Lord are they who wait for him; for they still wait for the coming of the Messiah” (2 Nephi 6:13). So a key characteristic of God’s people is that they looking ahead, anticipating blessings they have not yet received. A key characteristic of disciples of Jesus Christ is waiting.

Elder Gerritt W. Gong encouraged us to be supportive of one another as we wait for desired blessings:

During this life, we sometimes wait upon the Lord. We may not yet be where we hope and wish to be in the future. A devout sister says, “Waiting faithfully upon the Lord for His blessings is a holy position. It must not be met with pity, patronizing, or judgment but instead with sacred honor.”

Room in the Inn,” General Conference, April 2021

Amy A. Wright taught this same principle in our most recent general conference:

Oftentimes we can find ourselves, like the lame beggar at the gate of the temple, patiently—or sometimes impatiently—“wait[ing] upon the Lord.” Waiting to be healed physically or emotionally. Waiting for answers that penetrate the deepest part of our hearts. Waiting for a miracle.

Waiting upon the Lord can be a sacred place—a place of polishing and refining where we can come to know the Savior in a deeply personal way. Waiting upon the Lord may also be a place where we find ourselves asking, “O God, where art thou?”—a place where spiritual perseverance requires us to exercise faith in Christ by intentionally choosing Him again and again and again. I know this place, and I understand this type of waiting.

Christ Heals That Which Is Broken,” General Conference, April 2022

Waiting is uncomfortable, but I like the concept that waiting upon the Lord is a sacred state to be in. We don’t grow very much when we’re comfortable. Maybe embracing the waiting and being grateful for it can help us to gain more value from the experience.

Today, I will wait upon the Lord. I will be grateful for the assurance of future blessings and for the growth I am experiencing now, before the blessings come.

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