Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:30-31)
This was my high school's "school verse" (minus the acknowledgment of the weakness of youths). It's a verse that makes sense painted on the weight room wall or above the threshold of the locker room as a source of inspiration before a contest. It's also a verse that I'm reminded of in the Advent season as we adopt an attitude of waiting on the Lord, an annual imitation of the post-exilic Jews between the Old and New Testaments.
We've done more waiting than usual the past few years in our house. Maybe you can relate. We've waited on some good and beautiful things, like the newborns in our Sunday School class who will be celebrating their first Christmas this year. And we've waited on some very hard seasons to pass when we've lost close loved ones. Waiting can be brutal.
That's what makes this passage from Isaiah powerful and important. We're caught up in the "already, but not yet" of God's present kingdom on earth. During Advent, we wait on the Incarnation. But just like we do not mourn like those without hope, we do not wait like those without hope. Our hope is in the Lord, and we can claim the promises of Isaiah 40:31 while we wait.
My high school's verse combines well with the school's name, Maranatha, Aramaic for "Come, Lord!" That is my prayer as we enter Advent this year.
What does the hope of His coming change for you?