Monday, August 16, 2010

Do you not know?

This is a very familiar passage, but one I've never fully committed to memory. When I was running, I did recite verse 31 repeatedly to myself when I felt "faint!"

Last night, almost three weeks into a pretty grueling corn harvest season (temperatures exceeding 100 degrees, lethal dust, relentless monotony, late nights) I was feeling particularly weary and discouraged. I turned to Isaiah 40 for comfort - and found it. So I'm memorizing this passage for the last two weeks of August:

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
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.
Isaiah 40:28-31

I love the reminder that we cannot fathom God's wisdom - it's "unsearchable" as the ESV translation states. He is God. I am not. What a relief! And HE chooses, because of who He is, to renew our strength, to increase our power, to keep us from growing weary and faint...when we hope in Him.

Thank you, Lord!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Overflowing with hope...

May the God of hope
fill you with all joy and peace
as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope
by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

This is my memory verse for the first part of August (I forgot to post my verse from the end of July...I used a portion of Ezekiel 40:4 as camp preparation - "...look with your eyes and hear with your ears and pay attention to everything I am going to show you, for that is why I brought you here..." Good one, huh?)

Anyway, I was looking around for an inspirational word tonight - something that would soothe my weary soul and something that I could share with others needing a word of encouragement. This verse seems to indicate that very thing by saying that, as we trust in Him, and He fills us with ALL joy and peace, we may overflow with hope. Overflow implies spilling out or bubbling over, impacting others with the joy, peace and hope we have through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hope. It's a precious thing. Spending a week with over 500 teenagers and almost 200 adults at Cross Camp made me realize it can also be an elusive thing. There was joy, brokenness, surrender, worship...we made much of Jesus all week long. There were also painful stories of lives and homes where hope is lost. These stories have pressed on me in the days since camp ended.

My heart is full...praying for some precious teenagers just trying to live out their faith with some integrity in some difficult situations; while also
see-sawing between overwhelming gratitude and a twinge of guilt over how blessed my life has been.

The God of Hope. May He fill us all with all joy and peace as we trust in Him. And may we be faithful to share that blessed hope with others.