19 April 2013

To Run and not be Weary

Years ago, I sat tired, full from a supper of fresh avocados, passion fruit, and likely pumpkin greens in coconut milk along side some "moo-mooed kow kow" (which may or may not be spelled correctly, and had nothing to do with eating cows as one would suppose from the sound of the words but delicious little sweet potatoes).  But the supper was not the reason I was tired.

We had worked hard that week, visiting orphanages, walking the city inviting people to a special event, arriving at the hospital only to be stunned when we saw the rubber gloves hanging out to dry(washed for re-use), and flying to outlying villages to help dentists and doctors in their work.  All this during the day, followed by evening evangelistic meetings.  If it so happened that a pig was butchered in the courtyard below, early in the morning, some among us experienced disturbances of sleep.

It was perhaps during these two weeks abroad that I observed, vividly, what it had been like for a man to lose a friend. 
One who travelled with us had years ago been friends with a mission pilot who one day, in his service over the thickly jungled mountains of Papua New Guinea, crashed.  They never found him.  The jungle, you see, can be that impenetrable.

As a child, I watched this man and his family grieve the loss of daughter and sister.  As a teenager, I listened to this man, with tears in his eyes, tell us about his friend who never came back, tell us how he worried when the small group of us in the airplanes had not come back right on time, and tell us how grateful he was to see us come in for supper.

{Several years after my experience there, the mission pilot who flew me and others in my group to villages in the mountains suffered the same end.  He, too, crashed in the jungle and did not survive.}

So yes, we were tired.  Worn thin from hard work and profound experiences.  Growing teenagers in need of a renewal.

I don't think I will ever forget what happened next, for evening worship.  She was a superb teacher, loved by all, enthusiastic.  And with teacher wisdom I now appreciate and desire now more than ever, she opened her mouth in prayer and opened her Bible to read these words:

"Hast thou not known?  Hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?  There is no searching of His understanding.  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth strength.  Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:  but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.". Isaiah 40:28-31

And that's all she said (in some version or another).  She left it at that, and God's word itself spoke to my heart and renewed my strength.  I knew she understood.  But more than that, I knew HE understood, and had a plan to replenish.

Maybe you had a week like that, exhausting for all kinds of reasons, large or small.

Will you open up His Word, and trace your fingers over this promise?  Will you trust Him to find a way to renew you, even now, tonight?

1 comment:

Greetings, fellow climbers! Leave your marks on the steps--I'll be delighted to hear from you.