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The Hard Work of Waiting

This presidential election has taught me afresh what children feel while waiting for Christmas. Something's coming. It might be something wonderful. If the old saw about coal and switches is true, it might be something disappointing. Until it comes, there's not much to do but wait.

People who lead often resist waiting. Leadership demands action, and action requires initiative. So that must mean it's up to the leader to do something. Right?

Yet Scripture often says wait. God tells his people 43 times in the Old Testament "wait upon the Lord."

Translators of the ancient Hebrew texts struggle with a word often translated "wait." Sometimes they find a better rendering is "hope." Consider Isaiah 40:31, translated in the KJV as "those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength." In the NIV, we read "those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength."

The concepts are entwined. Hope is wrapped up in waiting; waiting is buoyed by ...

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