A Word from Pastor Stephen – April 24, 2020
“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 40:30-31 NIV)
Even though the church office remains open during our normal business hours, so much of the normal weekly activities of the church have been suspended, yet things still feel busy and the schedule still feels full. For almost all of us, our normal routines of life and work have been disrupted or upended. One would think that life under a “safer at home” order might offer a time to rest or recharge or disengage. However, for most of us, we seem to be even more exhausted and anxious than usual.
Isaiah reminds us that even young people who we often endow with strength, energy, vigor and endurance can also grow tired and weary. Even the young can stumble and fall. So much of what we are experiencing right now is not a physical weariness, but an emotional and spiritual tiredness. This is born out of the fear and uncertainty of this time. It is exhausting to face an unknown future. Will I have a job a month from now? Will I be able to pay my bills? Will my health suffer? Can I maintain my relationships and friendships during this isolation?
The prophet Isaiah has a prescription for our weariness. Hope! For Isaiah, hope will renew our strength. In fact, hope can help us soar like an eagle. Hope will allow us to persevere. Hope will keep us going. If we hope in the Lord, we will not grow tired. This kind of hope is not wishful thinking either. Pastor and author Eugene Peterson wrote that hope “…means a confident, alert expectation that God will do what he said he would do.”
So our hope allows us to be confident that we will emerge from this pandemic in God’s hand. This hope allows us to continue to reach out and help others. This hope allows us not to be overcome with fear and anxiety, but be blessed with the assurance that all will be well. We worship a risen and living Savior. Never lose hope. Amen.