Waiting for Renewal
Do you feel tired? Stretched too thin? Is there a place in your life where you feel as if you are at the end of your rope? Has your strength faltered? Is your perseverance waning? Are you searching for courage?
As I think back to my thoughts and feelings in the midst of times in my life when I have answered Yes to all these questions, a couple of things stand out:
- I prayed a lot; raw, tearful, humble, and passionate (sometimes angry!) prayers for help and strength
- I had lots of questions, and most often few answers
- I rarely find that I am magically filled with all the strength, courage, energy or perseverance that I think I need
- I end up waiting and waiting and waiting…until things finally change (and sometimes I am the thing that changes!)
Some folks might think I don’t pray hard enough; or I focus too much on questions; or I just don’t have enough faith to be filled with strength. Maybe they are right. Maybe there is just something wrong with me! But, I have a suspicion.
My suspicion is that we often look back on difficult situations and see in hindsight how God gave us what we needed. But most of us don’t necessarily sense that in the moment of the situation. It’s difficult -maybe even impossible! – to see God’s handiwork in the middle of life’s darkest times. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see God’s work in hindsight and to name it and proclaim it. But, I just want to be honest that I don’t usually see that until after the fact. And in the midst of difficulty, my life usually looks pretty messy.
And I think Isaiah gets what I’m trying to say. Read with me from Isaiah 40:28-31 (Amplified Bible translation):
Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening?
God doesn’t come and go. God lasts.
He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine.
He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath.
And he knows everything, inside and out.
He energizes those who get tired,
gives fresh strength to dropouts.
For even young people tire and drop out,
young folk in their prime stumble and fall.
But those who wait upon God get fresh strength.
They spread their wings and soar like eagles,
They run and don’t get tired,
they walk and don’t lag behind.
The key part of this passage begins with the word BUT. Let me paraphrase:
You may not have heard it. You may not know it. So let me tell you: God does all these amazing things that get us through life. In fact, all of us will stumble and fall, BUT those who wait upon God…they will find that God has given them all that they need to get through.
You see, the key for you and me in this passage is to WAIT. We will not have all the answers. We won’t listen enough…even when we pray. But if we can wait… if we can wait through the tough stuff life throws at us, then we will find (in hindsight!) that we have been filled with all we need.
No matter where you are in life right now – tired, weak, stretched, searching, or at your wits end – I pray that you will know that things will be okay (maybe not today, but one day) if you will just wait on God. Because according to Isaiah (and me!) waiting is the key to renewal.
If You Missed Sunday’s Sermon…
Read or listen to Discovering Power in Your Life— Mark 1:21-28
God’s Words for This Week
Isaiah 40:21-31– But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (NIV, v. 31)
Psalm 147:1-11,20c –He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. (NIV, v. 4-5)
1 Corinthians 9:16-23-Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. (The Message, v. 19-21)
Mark 1:29-39 – He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them. (NRSV, v. 31)
This Week at Hood
Wednesday, January 31, 3:30 pm–Prayer and Inspiration
Wednesday, January 31, 6:00 pm – Choir Practice
Wednesday, January 31, 6:00 pm – Young-ish Adult Small Group
Thursday, February 1, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Pastor Jason at The Cellar for Drop-In Coffee & Conversation (108 N Wilson St)
Sunday, February 4, 11:00 am – Worship, Elder & Deacon Installation & Ordination
Sunday, February 11th, 12:00 noon–Valentine’s Lunch for all the Ladies, sponsored by the Men’s Fellowship
Sunday, February 11th, 2:00 pm– Marriage Vow Renewal Ceremony
Wednesday, February 14th, 6:00 pm– Ash Wednesday Service;
Wednesday, February 14th, 6:00 pm– Love Wins, Children’s Mission Class
Saturday, February 17th, 10:00 am -12:00 noon–Valentine’s Tea & Tunes @ The Cellar
April 16, 2018
April 11, 2018
February 20, 2018