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Wednesday, December 10, 2003

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Isaiah 40:25-31
Psalm 103
Matthew 11:28-30

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"how long, o lord?" (ps 13:2)

"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." —Isaiah 40:31, KJV

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick" (Prv 13:12). Sometimes it is very difficult to have to wait so long for God's plan to unfold. Did you ever feel that you might die before the situation improves? Yet "the Lord does not delay in keeping His promise — though some consider it 'delay' " (2 Pt 3:9). "If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late" (Hab 2:3).

How do we wait for something we need so badly, something we know for certain is God's will, and something that we just can't live another day without? We must wait patiently and confidently, not complaining. To do otherwise would be to insult God by displaying a lack of faith in His ability to deliver. We renew our strength by 'waiting' upon the Lord (Is 40:31, KJV).

The Hebrew word translated as 'wait' or 'hope' in Isaiah 40:31 can mean to twist together, as cords of a rope are intertwined. In our waiting, then, we wrap ourselves around the Lord and He wraps Himself around us. When discouraging forces pull at us, we are not pulled apart. Instead, like strands of a rope, we and the Lord are pulled more tightly together and grow in strength. We never "come to the end of our rope" because the Lord has roped us tightly into His presence.

"Hence do not grow despondent or abandon the struggle" (Heb 12:3). Stay focused on Jesus (Heb 12:2) and confident in Him. Don't even move an inch out of your position of hope. "Look out that you yourselves do not lose what you have worked for; you must receive your reward in full" (2 Jn 8).

Prayer:  Father, I will be still and know that You are God (Ps 46:11). I will hope in silence for Your saving help (Lam 3:26).

Promise:  "Come to Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will refresh you." —Mt 11:28

Praise:  As witnesses to their faith in the Lord's provision, Jack and Anita have taught natural family planning for 25 years.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by one of our editors.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, June 23, 2003


Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 26, 2003