He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver
Have you ever felt frustrated with a gift that you felt the Lord has given you and yet there is seemingly no opportunity to exercise it, or every time you try and step out with it it seems to fall flat on its face? I know I have!
I love Isaiah 49. It has been a very special chapter in my life, and there is so much to learn about the LORD's ways. Isaiah said that he was chosen when he was in his mother's womb (v1). He was given gifts likened to a sharpened sword and a polished arrow. And then what happened? God hid him! In v4 Isaiah says, 'I have worked hard for nothing, I have used my strength, but I didn't accomplish anything'. In other words, 'here I am, a polished arrow all ready to go sitting in this quiver, and all the other arrows around keep getting picked. What a waste! Why did I bother?'
This is how God responds in v8, 'In the time of my favour I will answer.... I will appoint you as my promise to the people'. God's timing is so vital. Don't try to get out of the quiver before He chooses. What can an arrow do by itself? Nothing! It's the same with us. It's only in His hands that we are of any use to Him. We wait for God's favour, for His time.
And what do we do whilst we wait? In v13 God says, 'Sing with joy.... break into shouts of joy..' Worship is so vital in staying ready so that when He says it's time to go, we can hear Him and respond to the call. Favour and anointing will come if we trust and keep being obedient. Don't lose heart.