From the pastor

    Being... and waiting...   (June 2018)

    Isaiah 40: 31 “ They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” (KJV)

    We do not like waiting.

    At the store, we look for the shortest line at the checkout counter. On the telephone, we do not want to be placed on “hold”. On the computer, we expect every website to load instantly.

    Sometimes speed is good. It is okay to choose the shortest line at the gas pumps. It is not wrong to be “concerned” when the wait time for a referral to a medical specialist is measured in years rather than days.

    In other ways, though, our instant-on, hurry-up world puts us out of step with God’s speed and time. Babies take nine months to ripen in the womb before they are ready to make their way into the world. Children take eighteen years to grow up before they are independent adults. Christians mature into the image of Christ through a lifetime of challenges and trials.

    Our verse from the prophet Isaiah reminds us and promises us that those who “wait” on the Lord will renew their strength.We are not instantly renewed or strengthened. It takes time. Part of that time involves realizing that our spiritual strength does not naturally reside in ourselves, but in God, and it is only when we begin to wait “upon God” that we are drawn closer to Him.

    Waiting entails being still: the psalmist quotes God and says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46: 10) In the stillness, we cease doing, and we simply “are”. Much mental, emotional, and spiritual health begins with and flows from realizing that we “are” — and we do not have “to do”. To realize that I “am” — and that I am a being in the image of the eternal God, is to begin to know who I am. God told Moses His name: “I AMWHO I AM”. In the likeness of this God, each of us is.

    What I then do with this knowledge, rightly, is to seek a relationship with this God — a relationship which He offers each of us through Jesus, who came to show us this God in the flesh, and to become one of us in our humanity.

    Moses bowed in worship.When he got up, it was to accept a new direction and assignment in the service of God and the people of God. After Isaiah bowed in worship, he was cleansed and accepted God’s call to go as a messenger. It is Isaiah who tells us that those who wait on the Lord shall indeed renew their strength.

    Let us imitate the psalmist: “My soul, wait thou only upon God.” (Psalm 62: 5, KJV)

    “Why are you downcast, O my soul?Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my God.” (Psalm 43: 5, NIV)

    May the arrival of the summer season provide us with many opportunities to wait on the Lord.

      Your pastor, content — sometimes — to wait, and to wait on the Lord,

        James T. Hurd





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