Just sitting here thinking. May I just take the liberty to say that life has surprised me entirely? If you would have told eighteen year old me what the next fourteen years would hold – my mouth would have hung open. There have been such sweet blessings but, if honesty is the name of the game, it has been far more intense than I could have ever dreamed.
Sometimes Zion and I look at each other and still marvel that we’ve made it through some of what we’ve walked. The resistance we’ve experienced multiple times literally takes your breath away. At some point, it will be right and good to express more of the details of our story. But for now, know that I’m not exaggerating when I say that some of the battles we’ve been allowed to fight have lasted years and threatened to wear us down to the point of giving up. Only by the grace of God do we stand today.
Tonight, I’m thinking of those of us in the middle of the valley. The one who has stood for a long time and trusted…and is weary. The one who feels that no one truly know the extent of all you have laid down in order to keep trusting. The one who has fought valiantly at times and then gone through seasons of quietness as you’ve waited for strength to keep fighting.
Sometimes the most illusive thing to me in those moments has been hope. Faith somehow seems easier – because faith is a decision I make to see what is not there. Hope though. Man, hope can seem like a dim light in the distance when you’ve been through a journey of length. If you feel like the disappointments have piled up a bit – hope can even seem foolish.
In those times, I make a point to specifically ask the Lord to stir up hope within me. There are points when it simply can’t come from you anymore because you’re so worn down. I’m asking Him to do that for you tonight. Lord, breathe hope.
Let’s ponder these words:
Have 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.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
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.
Some of us have heard these words over and over again. But – tonight – let’s put on fresh ears. A different version of this verse says ‘but they who hope in the Lord shall renew their strength.’ What if these words were true? You know, when I am in the midst of the battle, my eyes tend to start looking all over the place for signs of God moving on my behalf. Almost a frantic search. But almost always, I find that my eyes have to revert back. Back to Him.
Did you notice that the words say ‘they who wait for the Lord…’ Not she who waits for the job to come through. Not she who waits for the man of dreams to appear. Not she who waits for the breakthrough….but she who waits for the Lord. Man – that’s a shift. Sometimes it seems impossible to muster up hope that something specific will happen. But these words prompt me to narrow my gaze onto the One who is trustworthy. Despite all that comes, He is trustworthy.
He DOES NOT grow faint. He DOES NOT grow weary. He simply doesn’t. But he understands you. He truly yearns to show compassion to you. When all else seems to be failing around you – come back to a very simple waiting on the Lord. He will show Himself and before you know it – even the smallest glimmer of hope will rekindle itself and that strength will come up in you.
I am convinced that those who journey long and hard through the valley have a special place of tenderness in His heart. He sees you and cherishes your sacrifice of trust more than you could know.
I’m feeling you tonight. If I am then I know that He is. Hope is coming my friend…