Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)

But those who wait on the LORD
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Fishing is a strange past-time and not one that I particularly enjoy.  I could never (and still don’t) understand the attraction.  You run a hook through something gross like a bug or a worm and cast the line into the water. Then you wait.  And wait.  And wait.  It could take hours, but what’s the rush?  Eventually, (hopefully) a fish will bite, but when it does, you don’t reel it in immediately.  You want to be sure the fish gets a good hold on the hook so you don’t miss the opportunity and lose “the big one”.  You watch the action of the line so that at just the right moment, you set the hook.  Then you may need to “play” the fish to tire him down and make sure he doesn’t break the line.  Fishing requires a lot of patience.  I am not a very patient person.  Maybe that’s why I never catch any fish. 

 But let’s face it – we live in an impatient, demanding society.  When we want something, we want it now!  I recently moved to a small, very rural town.   After having many of the luxuries of the fast paced big city, I was suddenly forced to slow down.  One of the hardest adjustments for me was having to revert to dial-up internet.  I was not used to waiting 20 minutes for my e-mail to open.  I simply could not function without high-speed internet. 

We are expectant people.  We expect immediate gratification – even from God.  We pray for something, but do we really give Him a chance to answer?  Do we really take the time to wait and discern what He is trying to tell us?  Far too often, my impatience has lead to hasty decisions that have come back to bite me.  And I don’t mean by a fish!

The Bible teaches us to pray and to wait patiently for the Lord.  From Psalm 37:5-7 we learn: Commit your way to the LORD;  trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,  the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…(NIV)

Jesus waited for 30 years before beginning his public ministry. (Luke 3:23) Then, God told him to go to the desert where he not only waited a little longer, but was tempted by Satan for 40 days. (Matt. 4:1-2)

Prayer is two-way communication with God.  We have the talking part down pat, but we also need to be quiet and listen with a sensitive ear – not so we can respond the way we want to, but so that we can hear what God is saying to us.  Psalm 32:8 provides a very clear message from God:  “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”   I can hear God adding: But only if you will stop long enough to listen to me and let me help you!

Shouldn’t we all have the patience of a fisherman?  Cast a line to God and wait for Him.  Unlike fish, He guarantees He will bite.  The only way to know God’s leading, to hear His voice, is to listen and wait.