Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Renewal



Yesterday my sister and I went shopping. I didn’t wear my pedometer, but I know we covered a lot of territory — without spending very much money. It was fun. At the end of the day, going to sleep was easy and instant. This morning’s devotional reading was not a surprise . . .

“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 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 40:30–31)

I laughed. If God can do this for youth, ladies our age should not be a problem!

Waiting on the Lord is a common expression in Scripture. I usually associate it with going ahead without finding out what God wants me to do. Here, the Hebrew words offer the good news that when exhausted or ‘unsteady,’ either physically or mentally, putting my hope in God will give me a new sense of direction and renewed enthusiasm.

This is extremely practical. When I know that God has given me instruction or ‘marching orders’ for the day, I am far more eager to get at it than I would be otherwise. Today is a good example. I read these verses and thought about them for nearly an hour. I am still tired and not eager to do much of anything, yet as I prayed and listened, God gave me His will for today. Immediately I felt better, even energized and ready to go.

Chambers spiritualizes these verses by suggesting that ‘walking’ is an expression of a  person’s character. I see it as simply my daily behavior. If I am going to walk with Jesus, it will mean waiting for His voice, reading His Word to give or verify His instructions, and then living accordingly.

Chambers also suggests that daily walking with Jesus could be boring. That is, rather than the mundane chores of life, I might want something a little more exciting. That happens, sad to say. For instance, when another Christian talks about leading another person to the Lord, or witnessing to a family member, or having a huge, impressive opportunity to serve God, at times I’ve been envious, particularly if all He asked of me was to clean up my basement.

This envy is far more serious than boredom, yet boredom isn’t good either. Since I’m seldom bored, my first solution might be ‘creative busyness’ yet there is an even better cure. Some days, busyness is not possible. It can be set aside during illness or dulled by the ordinary responsibilities of life. For those situations, even all situations, God shows me that a big part of waiting on Him is recognizing His continual presence.

Chambers calls it ‘setting the Lord before me’ but for me this is more like remembering He IS before me as I wait on Him and all the time. As I ponder that reality, then any task is sacred. No matter what He wants of me — exciting or ho hum — He also gives me wings, like the energy drink commercial, only better.

The thrill of waiting on the Lord and walking with Him is not in the wait or the activities of the walk. It is in being with Jesus, hearing His voice, knowing He loves me, knowing He will never leave or forsake me. That truth is precious, life-giving, and renews my mind and even my body. Just being with Him is enough!


1 comment:

Darrell said...

As always, great thoughts and writing, Elsie. Speaking of "renewal", my wife and I will be gone on vacation all next week at our lakeside property. No internet! I will miss you but will catch-up when I return!

Darrell