RENEW – VERB. TO RESUME AFTER AN INTERRUPTION.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength... - Isaiah 40:31
I have a hard time identifying my favorite scripture, because I LOVE so many. It’s like asking, which is my favorite: strawberry cheesecake or cherry cheesecake? Ummm, they’re both cheesecake...they're both equally delicious...this is not rocket science people! Making one choose a favorite is ridiculous, simply unheard of.
With that said, I LOVE Isaiah 40:31, it is ONE of my favorite scriptures, among a collection of others. Here's why.
Over the last several months, I went through a period of feeling unusually tired. No energy. No motivation, just blah. I fell into a bad state of complacency and I was struggling; struggling to do the bare necessities.
My fridge was empty, the cupboards were bare, my car was dirty, my bedroom was a mess- clothes everywhere.
I had no umphh, and I really didn't care. Naturally, I was going through some tired unmotivated stuff, but it was deeper than that. Spiritually I wasn’t well. I was depleted and needed a refill. I was weak. I needed to be renewed.
I had gotten to a brick wall and hit it, every. single. day. I knew I needed to get food in the house, but I settled on take-out. I knew things around me were a mess. I knew I was behind, in more areas than one. At work, I’d sit at my desk and imagine myself taking care of everything once I got off. But when that time came, I went home and everything that I imagined myself doing, was just that, stuck in my imagination. I did nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I wasn’t praying like I should, or doing much Bible reading, either. I wanted to, but did I really? Ehh...I’d get to it, or get my dose in bible study or Sunday service. My spirit was suffering.
I was too distracted by nothing to see my spirit crying out. My spirit was down and that manifested naturally and visibly, in multiple areas of my life. I really didn't know what to do. A part of me didn't mind the funk, and another part of me, hated it, and knew it had to go. Since I didn't know what to do, I waited. I waited on direction from God. Whatever that was going to look like.
Three words from Isaiah spoke volumes to my situation by giving me very basic instructions, that helped my very soul.
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength..." - Isaiah 40:31
To receive what I needed, I had to wait on the Lord. I had to show Him that I was waiting on Him and not waiting on myself to magically feel better on my own. I had to stop going in my own way, because that was literally getting me no where. I made up in my mind that I was going to be still and wait on God. While I waited I prayed at the level I could. If only a few words to God in the car or standing in the shower, I needed to get the communication going again, because it shut down on my end. God knew it, but he met me where I was and honored my worship. My flesh was weak, but my spirit was willing and I began to feel differently within myself.
Science believes that a cat's purr has self healing efficacy. The range a cat's purr reaches has the ability to mend its own broken bones. My renewal was heavily weighed on my own actions to heal me.
During the wait, I found a song to help me. The Lord will give a song to bring you through a tough time. I would listen to my song at work, blast it at home and in the car. I would hum it, and like a cat, I began to heal my brokenness.
And just like that, my strength was renewed! I felt it! I knew it! I was connected to Jesus again and everything started to be right around me. I went grocery shopping after work and filled the fridge and made a homemade meal. I got my room in order and made it a clean and comfortable space.
My car...well that’s another story. I really don’t think that was tied to this, because weak or strong, I have a hard time keeping my car clean.
Life is tiring. Parenting is tiring. Being a friend can be tiring. Loving despite of, can be tiring. Smiling can be tiring. Trusting God’s process can be tiring. Serving God can be tiring. Yes, it can. Doesn’t mean stop serving God or His people, it simply means there are times when being a servant becomes wearisome and a refresh is needed.
Here it is, in its three kickbutt pieces.
#1. Your but makes a difference. Verse 31 begins with a big fat but! It is used here as a conjunction, to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned (a little Grammar 101). Check out Isaiah 40:30 to find out what that is in the scripture, but pertaining to our life, it can be a slew of things. For myself, it was being in a funk. I was discouraged and frustrated with certain areas in my life, which lead me to become an unmotivated, unconcerned mess. With puppy dog eyes, my daughter was like,
Then with my puppy dog eyes, I was like...
Then I'd end it with, "but I'll go tomorrow." There were like 15 tomorrows, before tomorrow actually happened. Don't get me wrong, I kept her fed, plus she worked at Burger King, so the kid was eating.
I was dealing with something that was contrary to the word of God and His plan for my life. I should have used my but in a more positive way. I should have been saying, "I am discouraged and weak. I can’t seem to move forward and I don’t even know why or how I got here...BUT they that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength!"
See the conjunction in use. The but is the beginning to the contradiction of the statement that proceeds it (discouraged, weak...). It confidently introduces a new mode of action, an action to wait on the Lord for renewed strength.
Despite the current feeling, I am confident that if I do this, my situation will change. If I, "but wait", my spirit will be renewed. My spirit will resume after a brief interruption that took my focus for a little while.
#2. There is a waiting period before being renewed. Waiting is theeeee hardest thing ever! Ughh, not my favorite thing to do; except, I can wait for the weekend to end. I am never in a rush to a Monday morning.
To receive what I needed, I had to wait on the Lord. I had to show Him that I was waiting on Him and not waiting on myself to magically feel better on my own. I had to stop going in my own way, because that was literally getting me no where. I made up in my mind that I was going to be still and wait on God. While I waited I prayed at the level I could. If only a few words to God in the car or standing in the shower, I needed to get the communication going because it had shut down on my end. My strength was zapped, and He knew it, but God met me where I was and honored my worship. My flesh was weak, but my spirit was willing and I began to feel differently within myself.
#3. Being renewed is contingent upon your actions. Scripture says, “...shall renew their strength.” Before I knew it, my spirit caught up and was no longer lagging behind. I began to rise early in the morning to pray and have devotion with my lover who I had neglected without cause.
Life as we know it can get to a point where everything seems to zap strength and mental pysche. In those moments, remember to have a "but, wait" in your spirit. Contradict what you see and feel with what God is going to do. Then, wait - the hardest part, I know; however, your strength will begin to renew right there, waiting and praying.
Remain positive and know that you have the power within yourself to heal and renew you. Find a song, read a book, quote a scripture to help carry you through. Don't be dismayed. You will renew. You will resume after an interruption. God will show up and He will mount you on wings as eagles.
I needed to be renewed.
I needed a refresh.
I had to check myself.
Houston, I had a problem.
I was going from day to day completely weak. I appeared to be moving and shaking, and getting stuff done, but I was not. And to make it worse, I eventually left my poor, feeble, spirit behind to fend for itself in the land of no prayer.
CARICA E. WILLIAMS
walk by faith!