Wait For the Lord

By Rev. Kristen Van Stee, Assistant to the Bishop

27Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord, and my right is disregarded by my God”? 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. 29He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31but 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.   -Isaiah 40: 27-31

            I have a confession to make: I’m grumpy with God.  But I’m also grumpy about a lot of other things too.  I’m grumpy that I have lots of online meetings every day.  I’m grumpy that I can’t go to my favorite restaurants and sit down for a meal.  I’m grumpy when I check the news and social media, but I’m also grumpy when it feels like I’m all alone and cut-off from the outside world.  I’m grumpy that a trip to the grocery store feels fraught with risk and anxiety.  I’m grumpy that I have a long list of “to-do” chores around the house and no mental or emotional energy to get them done.

            I’m so grumpy that I’m struggling to even pray. 

            Many of us may feel grumpy or some other emotion closely adjacent to it.  Perhaps you are constantly worried.  Perhaps you are dealing with chronic impatience, anger, or even despair.  Or maybe you are battling feelings of numb apathy.

            Whatever you are feeling, I think the experience of feeling this way is normal for a very non-normal world that we are living in.

            Although I feel grumpy right now with life and grumpy with God, my feelings of restlessness, fatigue, and anxiety do not change WHO God is and WHAT God is doing in the world. 

            While many of us grow weary and faint…while so many who are ill are struggling to take their next breath…while so many grieve the death of loved ones…God is still the great I AM, the One whose strength is everlasting and whose mercy and compassion is deeper than the sea.         

            The one holy catholic and apostolic church has weathered many storms in the past; countless plagues (bubonic, small pox, ebola, HIV) and disasters (civil war, genocide, hurricanes, earthquakes, drought) and the whole human family and creation throughout time has weathered these storms too, not through our own strength, but through the unflagging and unfailing strength of the God who loves and sustains us in life and in death. 

            At this very moment God is dwelling with all of us and everyone who is suffering.  God is empowering the healing of many, the protection of many, the well-being of many.  God is strengthening the faith of those who need it the most.  God is sending help to the helpless in the form of countless people who are empowered to love their neighbors as themselves. 

            But if, like me, you are still feeling grumpy with God….or even angry with God…that’s ok.  Perhaps today is not the day that you are feeling empowered to do anything more than to simply get out of bed and do what you can to weather the day. That’s ok too.  I am sure that God understands us better than we understand ourselves.  Whatever the experience we are living in right now, we wait on the God whom we know will fill us with strength for the days to come. 

            Some day soon you will feel your strength returning again and you will feel empowered to fight back against obstacles and find creative ways to love your neighbors in need.  But if today is not that day yet…wait.  Wait for God, and God will renew your strength.

“Wait for the Lord, whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord.  Be strong, take heart!”
-Taize Hymn
#262 ELW


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