Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Renewing Our Strength

Isaiah 40:31

but those who hope in 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.

112015 Ray McDonaldOK – I’m almost 61 and I have to admit that I don’t have the strength I had in my younger years.  I mean – in years gone by I was able to dunk a basketball – now I have a hard time touching the net.  I was able to finger roll at the rim and now a finger roll has to have a big shove to reach the rim (and I don’t leave the ground very far either these days – lol).  My legs have a hard time getting this old and overweight body up and down the court so I’ve had to watch my knees.  As a matter of fact – with a torn meniscus in my left knee – I’ve given up on the idea of playing full-out – full-court – basketball.  My doctor even encouraged me to give it up all together!  I went to play this morning only to see 20 plus young men on the court and so I decided to go the gym and workout instead!  So I ask the question – that I have asked before – can God help me dunk again?

I walked 18 holes on the 1st of January recently.  That is good exercise – but on the last few holes I could feel the burn in my legs and I am winded at times going up hill (never had that before).  My strength is not what I wish it would be or what it once was for sure.  My hope is that I can walk the golf course twice a week this spring/summer and go to the gym as well during the week to get in better shape – to regain some of my strength.  Maybe I’ll ask this question.  Can God help me scratch some strokes off my game or help me hit longer drives again?

Is your strength what it once was or are we trying to find ways to regain some strength as well?  Trying to lose weight and tone the muscles so that some of that youth returns is what I’m aiming for these days.  When I was in my 50’s – a friend who is 10 years older than me – told me it would hit me about 60 – and indeed it has hit!  How about you?  I want to be young again!  Can God help me be young again?

So will God help me play basketball like I once did or not get winded on the golf course?  Inquiring minds want to know.  Can God and will God do something – those are two different questions.  Of course God can do anything but will God do something is the real question.  Today’s passage speaks to us about renewing our strength.  Are there any limits to this promise?  Here is today’s verse in partial context.  Isaiah 40:28-31 – 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in 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.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Whether we’re talking spiritual or physical or both – this is good news.  Let’s stick with spiritual for a moment.  I have had times when I have felt pretty low – spiritually – haven’t you?  I like that when I am weary and I turn to God – God has promised to give me strength and increase my power.  There are battles that I cannot face alone – most of them actually – and I need the presence and strength of the Lord.  The promise to give me strength during these battles is uplifting indeed.

Let’s look physically for a moment – because I think he was speaking physically when he writes – Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall.  It is the young that have strength and energy – normally.  But if the young get tired – and grow weary – than we all must need the refreshing presence of God in our lives.  Even in the world of the physical God wants to renew my strength and give me new energy.  I like that!

Then we wrap up with a spiritual and physical comment – those who hope in 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.  If our hope is in the Lord – if we strive to follow after Jesus – seeking His face and desiring His grace – God has promised to renew us – to give us strength and to help us to soar like eagles.  I like this promise.  It might not take any strokes off my golf game or help me to dunk again or even take off some pounds – but – it will see me through the days – months – and years – I have left here on earth and carry me all the way to the throne of God in eternity!  And that is comforting news to hear – for an old person – or a young one!  Am I right?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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January 29, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. I like how Isaiah 40:31 (soar on wings) verse follows a declining progression. Soaring = Youth with its seemingly unlimited capability. Running = Youth and Young Adult years, able to go fast and far. Walk = Older years, when strength, stamina begin to fail, but a good walk feels good!

    Like

    Comment by Darryl Zoller | January 29, 2016 | Reply


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