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Patience in the Dungeon

… but they who wait for 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.

Isaiah 40:31

Waiting is not easy.  For little children waiting is excruciating.  For teenagers, waiting is a minor annoyance and inconvenience.  For many adults, waiting produces impatience and anxiety.  We all want what we want as soon as possible.  Some of us want it immediately!  For the believer, waiting produces discipline and character, but no one likes to wait, and no one wants to wait in the dungeon.  The dungeon is damp and dark; it reeks of hopelessness and despair.  God however, wants us all to learn to wait; he wants us to have patience in the dungeon.  Are you in a difficult situation?  Have you prayed for release?  Has God asked you to wait?  Then be patient and do exactly that, WAIT!

In prison, Joseph learned patience (Genesis 39: 20-21).  The Lord’s presence was with him in that dungeon and God caused the prison wardens to show him kindness and favor.  Job, learned patience in the ash heap of his sickness (Job 2:9-10).  Even one, as intimate as his wife, could not persuade him to turn his back on God.  In the end, God gave him favor rewarding him with everything he had lost, and then some (Job 42: 10-11).  Abraham, learned patience in his tent in the desert.  After waiting a lifetime to become a father, God granted him his wish in the desert (Genesis18: 2-14).  Despite their advanced ages, God granted Abraham and Sarah his wife, a son.  David learned patience while he waited in the back of a cave (1Samuel 24: 1-22).  David had the opportunity to kill Saul who was pursuing him, but he did not do so.  He would not touch the Lord’s anointed (Vs. 10).  God granted him favor and a renewed relationship with Saul.  Jesus, waited patiently in a borrowed tomb.  Even though he was God and he had the power to free himself immediately, he did not do so, so that prophecy might be fulfilled and we might be reconciled to God the Father.

Friend, you don’t get to choose where you will wait.  You may have to wait in a hospital, in a dead-end job, in a court room, in a loveless marriage, in solitude, in financial limbo, in single-hood and in any other dungeon you find yourself in.  And I cannot say how your situation will turn out, but I know what will happen to you when you wait.  Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that: “…but they who wait for 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.”  No matter where you wait, God will give you the strength to soar over those things and situations that pull others under.  So be patient and wait for him.

Dear Loving God, help me to remember that every trial that comes my way has already been known to you in advance. I know that you are with me. Teach me to be patient in affliction and to remember you are always in control, no matter what. Help me by your grace and mercy to be patient and to persevere in all circumstances, yes even in this dungeon.  I love you, Father! Amen