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Renewing our Strength

Transitions are hard. Change brings uncertainty, fear, doubt, hesitancy.

This was the circumstance in Isaiah’s proclamation for this Sunday (Is 40:21-31). Chapter 39 of Isaiah tells of the coming Babylonian captivity of Judah. Now, in chapter 40, the period of exile is ending, and Isaiah gives a message of hope (40:1-2):

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she has received from the LORD’s hand double for all her sins.

The exile is over, but the people are emotionally and spiritually exhausted. They are not yet confident that God’s deliverance will be fully manifested. They complain, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God” (40:27). In other words, “Does God care? Will God really restore us?”

The answer is YES!

God does not faint or grow weary, and God will renew our strength, so we mount up with wings like eagles (29-31). Whether the transition is the restoration of an ancient people or today’s congregation at St John’s, the word is the same. Wait for the Lord.

How do we wait for the Lord?

I suggest we follow the pattern of Jesus. After a busy day of healing, Jesus arose “in the morning, while it was still very dark . . . and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35). I encourage you to devote yourself to prayer as we continue through our season of transition. God is with us and will renew our strength, so wait for the Lord!


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