Is there anyone else out there in this pain filled world that just needs a reminder of where our strength to endure and persevere as believers comes from?
Oh come on. Get down off your high horse slapped with a Jesus bumper sticker saying, “Melissa, I thought you were a Christian. You should know better.” I am. Through and through. But I’m also exhausted. I’m worn from the trouble in this life and of this world. Aren’t you? Don’t you sometimes wonder where the break in the clouds is or when the much-needed rain for the fire in our minds and for our mountains is coming? Doesn’t it seem easier sometimes to simply sink into the covers and loathe our circumstance rather than rising to carry out our faith? I’m just saying.
Friends, I see you. I hear the pain seeping through your words and your actions. Marriages are broken, children are rebellious, and family is dying. Your bodies are crippling, our thoughts are threatening, and relationships are ending. Money is gone. Homes are gone. Hope seems gone.
The smoke from the nearby mountain wildfires reminded me of the haziness surrounding my heart and mind that so often blinds me from the truth. The truth that is so desperately needed. The only truth that can sustain. The hurt seen in neighbors, the hypocrisy found in churches, the resentment choking families, and the addictions that are leading people to the grave are so distracting from the promises set before me. A blood stained love letter that should be louder and clearer than what I see but sometimes, isn’t. Lord help me to believe.
Listen, don’t ever think I am just this confident faith filled Christian that has it all together. Some days I think I am but then I realize, I’m not. That my social media posts and my boldness to share Christ must mean that somehow, I have arrived as a believer and that you should hang on to every word that is said. Beloved, it’s quite the opposite. It all comes from a desperation to know and believe the truth. It is evidence of spiritual warfare set out to destroy me. It’s all a reminder of who is in charge when really, fear almost wins. Praying, worshipping, scripture, and sharing are all evidence that I need Jesus just as much as you do. He’s our only answer. A plea for help, a reminder of the truth, living out my messy faith. Yes, that is what you see.
The only way that we will ever grow in our faith and experience the strength to soar like eagles is if we pursue Jesus. Always and forever. This world is too heavy otherwise. The lies of the enemy seem truthful instead of the blood shed on Calvary if we don’t constantly press into Him. The hurt and the pain seem unbearable if relief isn’t found in Jesus.
“Human strength at its best inevitably fails. Only the promise of God can sustain human perseverance.” ESV Study Bible, Isaiah 40:30
I’m tired. I know you must be too. Planning, fixing, and trying won’t change the fact that we are exhausted. Heck, taking a nap won’t even help. Exhaustion that comes from the hardships of life is impossible to overcome on our own. It requires the promises of God. I’m talking about more than the one on your bumper sticker but instead, the promises engraved on your heart. Scripture memorization and jewelry and coffee mugs mean nothing unless it is set in stone upon our hearts and minds. Unless it is carried out, relied on, inhaled and exhaled, it won’t do us any good. You heard me? God help us all to believe what we proclaim on Sunday mornings and what we should be reading everyday.
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has not might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young mean shall fall exhausted; 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 40:28-31
Isn’t this the sweetest promise ever? That we don’t even have to understand because He does? That He so graciously acknowledges our exhaustion but promises to help us soar anyway? Man that’s good stuff. Lord, help us to wait on you instead of caving under the pressure to believe like the world. We don’t have to be weary. We don’t have to remain exhausted. We don’t have to stay in bed moping my friends, we have Jesus running shoes! His promises in scripture will help us run and walk through this life. Isn’t this the best news? I don’t have to remain weary. You don’t have to feel faint. We don’t have to be spiritually exhausted. We just have to believe that what God says is what He meant and wait upon the Lord.
We can find an endless supply of fresh strength through His word. It’s found in genuine worship. We find it in heartbreaking prayer. We feel it in the love of others and in the community of church. It’s found in the choice to believe rather than give up. Strength is found in obedience and surrender. Yes, fresh strength is always available.
So what will it be my friends? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? I am. I don’t think life is going to get any easier but I can be confident that our Father above will remain the same. Sweet people I love, let us join together in a pursuit of God-given strength and then, soar.