The latest version of Clear Call, the biannual newsletter of Manchester City Mission is now online – you can read it online by clicking download below
Isaiah 40, verse 31 is a favourite verse for believers who feel tired, weary and perhaps even burned out. I can only imagine that it’s highlighted in a great many Bibles, especially those belonging to Christian workers.
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.
Although God clearly wants us to make progress in our work and in the pursuit of our God given goals and objectives, not all progress is made at the same rate. Sometimes, if the challenge is short term, we can get through at a sprint. Sometimes, if we are in things for the long haul, its better to walk if we want to avoid getting frazzled. However, running or walking it’s all progress, and that is a good thing, especially in City Mission work.
In all cases, our progress is limited by our stamina. Even the Duracell bunny runs out of juice eventually, or as Isaiah puts it “Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted;” . In our “goal centred” and driven society, it’s not hard to see how that happens. Progress can bring its own rewards and satisfactions. “See how far we have come” we say, lets press on even harder. Eventually we pay for our over excitement in terms of stress and exhaustion, and when that happens, progress comes to a grinding halt.
The answer, Isaiah tells us, is to “wait”. Not a word we associate with making progress towards our objectives or assignments. We want to get on with things. Press on towards the finish line. However if we look at the word “wait” more closely, we can see how this counter-intuitive command works.
In the original language, the word means to hope in something. It isn’t passively waiting around for something to happen, its an expectant waiting, and when our expectations rise the entire chemical state of our brain changes in ways that seem to lift our mood and release energy.
But most importantly, this is waiting, or hoping on the Lord. Our expectations will not turn out to be false, our hope will not lead to disappointment. He is faithful who promised.
At MCM we are learning to expect good things from a good God every day. Our experience lines up with God’s word. He is faithful.
Paul and Angie Winter have published their 2014 Autumn Newsletter.
You can download it here – its in PDF format