Over and over again in the Bible, we’re told to “be strong”. Yeah, right. That’s easy for God to say, but does He have any idea what we’re going through down here? Does He know how it feels? Be strong. Seriously?
Just outside my study window, there’s a massive eucalypt tree. We call them gum trees. It’s huge, probably over a hundred feet tall with a single, strong trunk and then dozens of massive branches coming off it. It’s quite majestic, but during a storm … man, this thing sways from left to right – it’s incredible … how it doesn’t fall over, I’ll never know.
And yet this massive, majestic, powerful tree started out life as a tiny sapling that you or I could have trodden on and killed. But after many decades, it’s grown not just tall but strong.
In other words, it takes time for strength to develop. I wonder if that isn’t what God means when He says this:
Psalm 31:24 Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD! (NRSV)
We saw yesterday that this word “wait” in the original Hebrew language in which it was written means to wait expectantly with a sense of anticipation, hoping, and trusting in the Lord.
But on top of that, waiting takes time. Sometimes we have to wait a day or a week. Other times, the Lord has us waiting months or even years, taking courage from Him. And all the time, as we wait expectantly and take His courage, He’s growing our strength. We don’t always notice that it’s happening, but that’s exactly what’s happening.
So one day, people turn around and look at you and what they see is a man or a woman of courage.
Don’t give up – wait on the Lord and take His courage. He’s making you strong.
That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.