Isaiah 40: 31 (KJV)
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Waiting is hard. It’s much easier to charge forward rather than to stop and regroup.
Too often we as Christians fail to see God at work in those moments of waiting, the times of purposeful prayer and meditation, and times of hoping. We often only see the Holy Spirit working vigorously along side us and with us or after we have persevered. Our scripture reading today reminds us that those who wait on the Lord shall have their strength renewed.
Ever feel worn out? Burning the candle at both ends? Trusting in the Lord and waiting upon the Lord may be just what the doctor ordered.
For those of us who watch the news and/or the news feeds on our social media we can become quickly exhausted with all the heartbreak and tragedy happening all across the globe. God is at work and we must remember that. We must not become weary or faint.
We are but one person individually; you and me. There is a limit to what we are designed to do on our own. We have been given the Church because we are stronger together than we are apart. As the body of Christ, we are an unstoppable force for GOOD.
As I think back to all that I have accomplished I realize it has been in my season of waiting that I gained the most strength, resolve, hope, and clarity. When I declared my intent to the District Committee on Ministry in Pueblo everything was going so fast. I declared, a month later the church voted to approve me at the charge conference, I was assigned a mentor, I enrolled at Iliff, I was interviewed, was accepted, and commissioned into the Army Reserves. Everything seemed to be on autopilot but the process was going so much faster than I was.
Then the worst but best thing could have happened. I completed my required psych eval (took about 3 hours and had to travel several hours to do it) and it was lost in the mail. It never made it to its destination. I learned it was never received after waiting nearly 8 months and was told I never took it. My mentor proctored it and vouched that it had been completed and put in the mail.
I was devastated. I had waited nearly 8 months only to find it got lost in the mail. I learned I had to wait to get a new one scheduled, get it read from the conference psychologist, and get an appointment to meet with her. When all said and done – I was well over a year behind in my process. Friends I had started the process with were already on their way to be ordained; the same place I believed I should be.
I was devastated initially. Everything was moving so fast and now I had to wait. I don’t do waiting very well either. However, that year and change was the most growth I had in all my years of being a candidate for ministry. God was at work in transforming my confidence, my theology, my experiences, and my ability to trust in Him in new ways.
If you are like me I pray that you are able to find God in those times of waiting. I hope our scripture reading today reminds you how we are strengthened through our waiting on the Lord. Many lessons are learned and we grow exponentially through the process.
Pray: Lord, we come to you with anxious hearts and unsettled minds. Move in our spirit patience, hopefulness, and trust in God.
Read: Proverbs 3: 5-6, Daniel 6: 23, Romans 15: 13
Act: Pause each day when you believe you need to move. Be still for just a moment. Close your eyes and breathe deeply 5 times, inhaling deeply and exhaling deeply. When you have stilled your heart and mind; then you can move again.
Yourself: Call a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Don’t email, text, or don’t Facebook message them but call them. Listen deeply to them and share intimately with them your own struggles, joys, hopes, and fears. I invite you to disconnect and reconnect this week.
Rev. Lou Ward
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La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
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