Advent Devotion 12-20-19

Friday, December 20, 2019                                                     Isaiah 40:28-31

 28Have 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.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30 Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31 but those 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.

Strength for the Journey        

[T]hose 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. (v. 31)

On the Sunday Pastor set out the list of scriptures for these Advent Devotions, I chose this reading from Isaiah and headed out to my car.  Thinking about the theme of waiting as I pressed the ignition button in my car, I wondered where I might begin….and lo and behold, my car would not start!  The engine valiantly chugged and chugged, but wouldn’t turn over.  There was gas and there was battery power, but somehow the two were not connecting.  And so, I got to practice waiting in real time for AAA (who, I must say, came relatively promptly and got me home and the car to the service station).

This waiting, of course, was not difficult:  I was fed and well-rested; I had a comfortable seat, a service contract and no pressing engagement.  There was no threat to my safety, little chance that the problem was irreparable, and no crying child or sick passenger in the back seat.  It was easy to know that all would be well.

Truth be told, this is not always the case. The problems of life pile on:  ill health, broken relationships, financial woes, disagreeable interactions, lonely days, too busy schedules.   We struggle to make sense of a world beset with problems we cannot seem to solve:  poverty, hunger, violence, addiction, injustice, war. We try our best but it just doesn’t seem good enough.  Sometimes we don’t even know where to begin.  Our wheels spin, but nothing happens.  There aren’t enough hours in the day, not enough gas in the tank, not enough hope in the heart.

That’s when Isaiah reminds us of who (and whose!) we are.  We have known, we have heard: it is God who is creator, God who is the peace maker, God who is the source of all that we and this weary world need.  And God does not tire of holding us, helping us, and getting us back on our feet.  There will be a jump start or a tow or a refill of the gas tank as needed.  There will be new strength and new power:  God’s gift for the faint and powerless.

Yes, we will struggle.  Yes, we will wait.  And yes, we will be weary now and again, but we can always count on God to restore and refresh us so that we may continue on our journey of sharing God’s love with the world.

Let us pray. Gracious God, as we await your birth at Christmas and your rebirth each day in our lives, remind us of your unfailing love and care.  Strengthen us when we are weary, lift us when we are laid low, and empower us to be bearers of your message of love and hope in a world that longs for your presence.  Amen.

Submitted by:  Carolyn Tryggestad