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 ESV
In light of the despair many of us are feeling from the two recent senseless mass shootings, I simply share this familiar verse. Though we have heard it thousands of times, the amazing thing is that God’s Word always has something fresh for our daily lives. The first time I came upon this verse I loved the idea of soaring like an eagle. I had spent half my life packing boxes and moving to another new neighborhood where I had to make friends and register for another school, but rather than feeling free, it felt more like life in a glass cage. Everyone knew who I was – the new kid- But I had no idea if they would like me, ignore me or pick a fight. Soaring like an eagle in my newly found faith in Jesus seemed wonderful. With Him I could leave behind the old reality of never belonging anywhere and fly with Him to a new life.
But something strange happened with my flight plan. One day as I was soaring nicely along, out of the blue a lightning bolt struck and burned off all my feathers and I fell to the ground. But once the shock of the crash wore off, I discovered that even though that I couldn’t fly any more, Jesus was still with me! Instead of a flight plan, I found myself on a racetrack where I began to run the race of faith. Up hills and down through steep dark valleys, I found that running wasn’t such a bad thing after all.
Then one day, I woke to find that my knees ached, my hips hurt, and I could only manage a slow walk. As discouragement began to set in, the Lord came, inviting me to lean on His shoulders, and reminding me that He also struggled up the path that the Father had chosen for Him. Then as we walked along together, I remembered that He also was often the new kid in town, He too had wept at the grave of a friend and understood better than I what it meant to be alone. Today I am not flying well, nor even running my race quickly, but through all that has happened I am more than ever walking slowly but surely with my Lord!
If you have had a crash and burn landing or two in your life don’t give in to despair. If you do not have the strength to run another mile, be encouraged, Jesus will walk the second mile with you. May the Lord strengthen and bless you today and keep you today as you lean on His shoulder and walk another day with Him!
2 Timothy 2:13 ESV If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself
The Christmas bells are safely packed away in their cases and the small nativity scene has returned to its box. Though the wise men still stand above the china cabinet it will not be long before they are sent back to their far country on a shelf in the garage. This week between Christmas and New Year is quiet with the anticipation of what lies ahead and a sad sweetness of the end of our celebration of the birth of Jesus. – And yes, I know that December 25th was probably not the day he was laid in the manger, but today I wanted us to look back at that moment one more time to remind ourselves of what remains. Jesus remains and today’s verse tells us that He remains faithful.
Every day of the year is the day that our Lord has made, and every night is another night in the stable of our hearts where Jesus comes to be born in the middle of our mess. A New Year is already in the books somewhere in the world, but God is more interested in the calendar of our hearts than the calendar on our walls. If we make a time and a place for Him, He will come to bring light into our dark and empty places. But if we choose to go our own way and deny Him by our life’s choices, Jesus still remains. He is the I am. He is Alpha and Omega. He is the author and the editor of our faith and of all history. He remains, never packed away, never out of season, never failing. Thank God for such an amazing and mighty Savior; and, in the year, that ahead the best news of all is that He remains!
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth.And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. John 9:1-3
It is popular to say that, “We want to change the world.” and considering all the changes brought on by the Corona virus, the elections and the ongoing divisions in our society, we have certainly seen a lot of change. “But we are talking about positive change!” you might respond, so then I would ask, “How would you suggest we change the world for the better? Would you propose building a large social media platform, or inventing a new product or service? Should we run for political office or join others in the street to protest for change?” Amazingly the one person who has changed the world the most did none of these things. Jesus Christ never held a position, owned a home or traveled the world. He talked about the kingdom of God, healed the sick and encouraged the rejected people of his day. But when His popularity grew till large crowds began following Him, He sent them away to go up on a mountain and pray.
If we carefully read the New Testament accounts of His life we find that; yes Jesus was interested in changing our world, but He had a tactic far different than ours. Instead of finding the best arenas to fill, He went to obscure places filled with people in need, and when He got there, Jesus usually chose one single person to talk to. The woman at the well and another about to be stoned each left His presence, changed forever. A young man about to be buried was raised from the dead (Now that’s a change!) and a leper on the outskirts of a village was cleansed and healed. But perhaps the most notable – since the Bible devotes an entire chapter to him- is the blind man in today’s verse who was sitting at the corner of a busy city street. Maybe the Bible does not reveal his identity because God wants us to know that any one of us can be like him.
We don’t need to be important, well financed or talented for God to take an interest in us. It doesn’t matter to Jesus what other people’s opinions about us are. God wants us to know that He hasn’t forgotten about us. He reassures our hearts that our problems are not too hard for Him to solve and that if we just put our trust in Him, that He will change our world forever. Then through our lives, no matter what anyone else thinks, God will be glorified. Now tell me, “What change is any better than that?”!