As we journey through these uncertain times, each day Sean will seek to post a thought or reflection, a Bible verse or a prayer.
Friday 12th June
‘Waiting for the unwearied One’
Today is day 82 of the lockdown. Although there is light at the end of the tunnel, most of us are feeling pretty fed up. The current stay at home policy is stirring up a variety of emotions and feelings. For some families the agitation and energy of young children who just want to go out and play with their friends is beginning to take its toll. People are getting bored and frustrated, anxious and discouraged. Our experience of lockdown is proving very exhausting.
So how do we respond to deep feelings of stress and exhaustion? There are many possible solutions. A visit to the GP may be called for. Learning relaxation techniques, such as breathing exercises etc., are certainly beneficial. A change of diet may be required, such as increasing the amount fresh fruit and vegetables you are consuming. Making plans for a good holiday, or switching off the persistent rattle of day time TV and instead going out for a brisk walk or joining an exercise class (when allowed) all have their place. Other solutions include having an extra hour in bed.
Amongst my personal advice for the present time is ‘give yourself a break!’ Don’t be too hard on yourself. Stop beating yourself up about your lack of motivation or what you think you should be doing. Rather chill out. This strange time in which we are living will soon come to pass. Routines will be restored. The economy will recover. Even the Jehovah’s Witnesses will soon return to their feverish activity of knocking on your door to enrich your life with a message about the end of the world!
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
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.
“It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.
This is the LORD; we have waited for him; let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
The Bible presents an alternative way of responding to feelings of weariness and exhaustion. And the answer is deceptively simple. Wait. Wait on God and your strength will be renewed. Of course this is easier said than done. We humans love to be self-reliant and find solutions to our problems. There is nothing as challenging or more satisfying that to face a challenge, work through it and find the solution. But what about the things out with our control or influence?
The answer here is to wait on God. That with trust and submission we immerse ourselves in God’s presence, bringing before him our deepest yearnings and fears. This does require faith and discipline and patience. And God is seldom in a hurry. His answer is maybe something we have never thought of or anticipated. But as we wait on the Lord, He hears and listens and acts and renews our strength. Of course this goes against perceived wisdom. We humans think that if our plans are not working out, we should worker harder or make a greater effort or devise an alternative strategy.
Whilst waiting can be harder than rushing about, we need to be reminded that there are certain things than only God can do. We wait on Him because He is God and we are not. And waiting on God is good for us. As we wait on the Lord, he changes us and strengthens us. He rewards those who wait, and His timing is perfect. Our hope and strength are renewed.
One note of caution. God’s ways are not our ways. Jesus never promised complete clarity or certainty or instant answers. What he does promise is an intimate relationship and a path where we must discover for ourselves that grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness which are absolutely necessary for survival in an uncertain world.
So in this wearisome and troubled time, let us rest in the Lord. Let us wait and draw strength from the unwearied One’
Rev Sean Swindells
Cruden Parish Church
Remember those who are waiting…
For news about their employment
Children desperate to go out to play and catch up with friends
Yearning for the lockdown to end because the burden is becoming intolerable
Watching a loved one in the final stage of life
Waiting to book a much needed holiday
Yearning for the renewal of the church and revival across the land
God ever creating,
God ever loving,
God ever leading:
We turn to you in uncertain times, trusting in your steadfast love.
Wherever people are anxious about the future,
overwhelmed by their responsibilities,
or worried because of the upheavals the pandemic has caused,
Bring peace and hope, we pray, And let your kingdom come.
God of all compassion:
Where people are lonely or isolated, longing for love,
where people are trapped in unhealthy relationships or facing violence each day,
where people are grieving the loss of routines or purpose in their lives, or the loss of someone beloved:
Bring courage and hope, we pray, And let your kingdom come
God of tender strength:
Where people feel pain in their bodies, in their minds or spirits,
where people seek healing or help,
where illness has eroded hope and desperation fills each day:
Bring healing and hope, we pray, And let your kingdom come.
God of trustworthy truth:
Where leaders work to guide the world and their communities to renewed life,
where professionals discern scientific, medical and economic insights to protect and restore the quality of life after the pandemic,
where individuals still strive to care for the earth and its vulnerable inhabitants:
Bring wisdom and hope, we pray, And let your kingdom come.
God in whom we live and move and have our being:
By your Spirit, tend your promise of new life
amid the current struggles in the world you love.
Where hope flickers, reignite its power;
Shine the light of Christ’s love into each life and renew our trust in you
as we pray together in the words that Jesus taught us:
The Lord’s prayer
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
you will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power
and the glory are yours
now and forever.
Let the majesty of the Father
be the light by which you walk,
the compassion of the Son
be the love by which you walk,
the presence of the Spirit
be the power by which you walk.