“Chariots of Fire” has a touching scene near the end of the movie. As Eric Liddell who refused to run on Sunday in the Olympics preaches the following verses from Isaiah, Harold Abrahams is running his entries seeking that gold medal. Liddell reads Isaiah 40:28-31,
28Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
30Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
31but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
We have about two and a half weeks and it will be Ash Wednesday, introducing Lent, when we switch focus to the death of Christ. Do we not know and have we not heard, the writer asks us about our Epiphany ponderings. What might be characteristics that we have seen during these weeks?
The Lord is everlasting God, present at creation, never tiring and still active today. As I watch the sun rise early in the morning, the untiring rhythms of nature meet my eyes. Each day is a clean slate that will unfold, maybe predictably but maybe with surprises, all in the presence of an everlasting God who scripture says never tires or grows weary as I do. God understands the factors that drive my decisions and the weaknesses of my character and yet tomorrow comes and he is still there. Like those cloudy, misty mornings, many days I have trouble seeing his hand and feeling his presence but it does not mean I am abandoned. I rejoice in the bright sunny events and withdraw into myself to find him on those cloudy dreary days.
Even youth grow weary and faint and need the strength that comes from God and the inner resources we have from that relationship. Interestingly we must “wait for the Lord.” Ah, true, as I want now! And have trouble waiting. As an elder it is easier to sit and savor life more than when I was chasing children, chasing work, going from one thing to another but still the struggles of the soul draw me to the everlasting God who does not tire. Through prayer I turn over the events of my children and grandchildren’s lives, the worries of the next doctor appointment, and the chaos of the world I live in. How comforting to see that sunrise and be reminded of God’s consistency and presence as I wait.
The verses end with a promise of strength to walk and not faint in our lives. That may not mean victory, as we would like victory to look like – winning a gold medal. That may not mean that there were be no struggles that make us weary. But it does mean we are not alone and God sees and cares and walks with us. That is a comfort to start a new month, a new week, and unfolding adventures of life. Blessings as you draw comfort and strength from these verses for the decisions you will make today and the races you choose to be involved in. Blessings!