'Tis the season of parties, get together, cookies, shopping, waiting in lines and frosty noses. At a recent holiday gathering one of my friends asked me, "How have you changed or grown in the last three months?" Wow. Pointed. Not your typical holiday party conversation! But this is not a typical group of comrades!
"Hmm," I thought. That is a hard question. I thought to myself, "Part of me thinks, not much has changed about me, but on the other hand, I have a list of all of the ups and downs , successes and failures that I have been through the past few months so where to begin? Hmm, what to share?"
I grabbed my warm mug from the table and held it tightly with both hands. I brought the cup to my chest. And, then it hit me.
"I surrender more quickly," I said.
"What do you mean by that?" He asked.
"Now," I went on, "my time to surrender to God is shorter. I don't battle with him to be the one in control....as long." I said with one eye brow raised.
I continued, "I hand over control more readily. It's been a process. But I suppose, now I am more acquainted with the comfort & peace that have come from living wholly submitted to God - it's easier to recognize when that peace is gone."
On my drive home I continued to mull over this question, and wondered if my response was real and true? The more I thought the more clear it became. Yes, indeed, it is true. I see it played out in my physical body. My physical body has become a gauge of my spiritual need. The weariness I feel when I lean on my own strength and on my own understanding is real. The weariness causes me to take note that something in my spirit is awry or out of alignment with God's desire for me.
The next morning as I was reading my devotion for the day, and a verse stood out like a light beam, speaking as a confirmation of this marked change in me.
I read Isaiah 40:30-31 (CJB), "Young men may grow tired and weary, even the fittest may stumble and fall; but those who hope in Adonai will renew their strength, they will soar aloft as with eagles’ wings; when they are running they won’t grow weary, when they are walking they won’t get tired."
These verses demonstrate God's grace poured out on our lives. The weariness that we experience on this earth, is a sign of our need for Him. We can get stuck in the land of weary if we keep our hope and thoughts on what is seen and temporal. BUT, if we set our gaze on Christ, and our hope is fixed on Him, His strength comes to carry us to new heights - above our earthly understanding.
These verses rain hope and courage and remind us that even on our best days, we may fall. But get back up and get ready to fly. Let the weariness you experience be as a signpost of your need for Him.
As you go about this Advent season, I challenge you to take time to reflect on 2018.
How have you changed or grown this year? Are you living in the land of weary? Or have you surrendered and found your hope and strength in Christ?