The scripture today from Isaiah is one of my favorite passages of scripture. I appreciate the rhythm of the words and the hopefulness of the passage.
The promise in Isaiah is that God will give strength to the weary and the weak. You might understand yourself as a capable and active person that is neither weary nor weak. I suggest that you consider these attributes as particular seasons in one’s life. I may not identify with these characteristics as an overriding part of my life. However, there are clearly times in my life when I have felt tired, weary and weak. By no means do I have the energy or time to do everything that comes up as a possibility. Sometimes I end up saying yes to something to which I should say no.
The promise in this passage is to those that put their hope and trust in God. It is not a matter of feeling strength and then believing and trusting in God. Instead, we are called to put our hope and trust in God and then receive strength.
I try find ways to lift up my eyes to God every day. Whether it is in a prayer as I get out of bed, asking God’s blessing for someone who is traveling, spending time reading scripture or having a holy conversation, I find more strength for my day when I put my hope and trust in God.
Abram, who would later be known as Abraham, experienced some major transitions in his life in these short verses. Twice Abram left the place where he had been living to set out for a place that God would show him. It is not clear what Abram was expecting when he set out on the journey. All we know from the text is that God tells him to go and he goes.
I like to know where I am going before I begin a journey. This is often possible when I am traveling to a physical destination – vacation, family, etc. However, it is not always possible in the journey through life with God. I believe that God is calling each of us toward the future, but I am not able to see clearly the details of the future. What I know for sure is that God is at work in the world to bring God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. You and I each have the opportunity to live as a part of God’s kingdom and be active in knowing, loving and serving God. Specifically, where will this lead my life? I can’t say for sure, but I do know that God holds the future.
The future that God has for those who seek to follow after Jesus is one in which we are blessed to be a blessing – similar to Abram. God has given gifts to each one and we are called to use these gifts to bless others. Not knowing the exact future may sometimes feel scary, but God promises to care for us and is present with us throughout all of life’s experiences. This is good news.