“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.” Isaiah 40:31 [NIV]
Way back in the day, when I actually had time to sit on the couch and peruse words and pictures on pages, I subscribed to magazines. The paper ones that arrived in the mailbox, delivered by the US Postal Service. Runner’s World was a particular favorite.
In the 1980s, whether or not to renew a subscription was usually a choice and it signaled a desire to continue the “relationship.” It was a transaction, to be sure, but choice was implied.
Today, of course, the subscription is a business model used by all sorts of goods and service providers and the default is auto-renew. Sometimes, it seems impossible to cancel a subscription without a phone call to 1-866-NOWHERE and 30 minutes in the neverland of automated customer “service.”
The purported value-added proposition of this auto-renewal world we live in is that we-the-consumer will receive the thing or service—painlessly—and never run out of razors or pre-assembled meals or be forced to use out-of-date software or wait for two days to get the refrigerator water filter so the red blinking light will stop blinking. Waiting is so yesterday.
There’s a pretense of relationship in the subscription business model because the consumer and the product are tied together in some fashion, but it’s only a pretense. It’s transactional, even when the product is given a name like Harry or Eve or Chuck.
Fortunately, for us, Christ offers a different model for subscriptions and renewals.
All we need to do to initiate the subscription relationship is to call on Him and we will receive his grace and mercy. Jesus provides guaranteed delivery and deliverance. He wants a real relationship, not one that’s set on auto-renew.
As a former professor and someone who still feels a call to inspire others to soar and to shine, it can be disheartening to feel that I’m not soaring and shining myself, that I’m not multiplying the talents that God gave me in any way that I can discern. Then, out of the blue, I’ll get an email from a former colleague with a profile of a recent grad who’s crediting my advising with the career path that’s finally bearing fruit and giving him happiness. I could use a few more of those good-news emails. I suspect you could, too!
Renewal Is Needed
I’m a bit tired this week. Maybe you are tired, too. Tired of struggling, tired of chasing, tired of trying to fly and yet never soaring, never climbing up to the elusive pinnacle where there’s a warm nest in the crag on the mountainside. It always seems just within reach, but then the vision fades away. A mirage? A misplaced vision? Am I just too impatient, insufficiently waiting on the Lord? I don’t know.
The Message and several other versions of the Bible translate Isaiah 40:31 as “those who WAIT upon the Lord…” so maybe the waiting is the key? But active or passive waiting? I know that in my past experience, sitting around doing nothing hasn’t yielded any more fruit than working hard.
The literal meaning of renewal is to flourish again, to make new again.
How cool is that?
Flourish is one of my favorite words.
Psalm 52:8 is a go-to verse for me: “I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God….” I read that verse every morning and I’m going to keep reading it, keep praying it, and keep hoping in the Lord.
I know that He wants to renew the subscription and that I only need to seek Him, hope in Him, and wait upon Him.
For now, I’ll run as hard as I can, but I’m believing that the flourishing will come in God’s time. One of these days, I’m going to soar on wings like an eagle. The renewal is already complete.
For anyone united to Christ, there is a new creation: the old order has gone; a new order has already begun. 2 Corinthians 5:17 [The Revised English Bible]
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Sheree Martin is a lawyer, entrepreneur and digital media consultant. She’s on a mission to help others Discover, Grow and Shine. Sheree is mom to multiple furry creatures and aunt to three awesome young adults. She loves spending time outdoors, especially at Shine Springs Farm, doing anything fitness related, and cooking real food for friends and family. Click her to read Sheree’s Breath on Paper bio.