Friday, April 22, 2016
Waiting in hope
Isaiah 40:29-31 has been on my mind a lot this week.
"God gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord (they that wait upon the Lord)
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
I am weary. I am weak.
I am tired. I am exhausted.
Did I mention that I'm feel a little worn out?
With one exception, I haven't gotten more than four hours of sleep in a single night in two weeks.
I love my bed. I love to sleep.
But one of life's uninvited challenges has kept me out of my bed these past two weeks.
(I know all of this has been a little cryptic of late, but I must respect the privacy of someone dear to me, someone who will get to tell their version of the story their way.)
Late nights. Sleepless nights. Early rising in the morning.
On duty, vigilant, all day long. All night long.
But somehow, Somehow, my strength has been renewed every day.
I haven't fallen asleep while driving.
I haven't fallen asleep while writing in my journal.
Or while cooking or even while watching mindless television to pass the hours.
I have had the strength to love my loved ones.
To listen to them. To look into their eyes with prayer rolling through my mind.
I have had the strength to cook and clean - when I am not gratefully serving the meals that dear friends have provided for us.
I have had the strength and energy to walk and jog and do some yoga - more than I could have imagined considering the extent of my ongoing sleep deprivation.
I have been able to talk to beloved ones on the phone,
to respond to emails and texts and WhatsApp messages from places far and near.
I have felt the prayers and good thoughts of friends and family sustaining me.
I feel it.
In my weary bones, in my wounded spirit, in my deepening faith.
I am tired.
But also renewed.
In Spanish, the word for "wait" is the same as the word for "hope" - esperar.
Waiting to see how God is going to work all this out.
Hoping for resolution, relief, and a reprieve soon.
Waiting and hoping.
Hoping and waiting.
I wait for healing.
I hope for healing.
I wait for peace.
I hope for peace.
I wait for tenderness.
I hope for tenderness.
If I don't yet have it, I hope for it.
When I hope for it, I wait for it.
When I lose hope, I wait.
When I lose the patience to wait, I hope.
Hope and wait.
Weak and strong.
Confident and confused.
Exhausted and energized.
At the same time.
Waiting in hope.
Hoping as I wait.
Finding reasons to be grateful even in the waiting.
Thanks be to God.
I Have a Hope
by Tommy Walker
This song has sustained me in dark times, in difficult times, since November 2008.
PS. Thank you for your notes and emails of encouragement.
Thank you for your prayers and candle lightings.
Thank you for your texts and emails and cards in the mail.
Thank you for the meals and the invitations.
Thank you for being so honest with me about the burdens that you too are carrying.
After all, everybody has got something. Everybody. Without exception.
This life thing - it is no joke.
Sometimes life is fun and sometimes it is funny.
More than sometimes, actually.
But it is no joke.
Together, let us keep the faith, bear one another's burdens, and laugh whenever we can.
Know that I am waiting and praying with increasingly strong hope here in Charlotte.