Photo of the kids and I at Cradle Mountain, Tasmania, Australia.
Isaiah 40 is where I go to find strength.
At the Anglican church we used to sing a hymn that mixed Isaiah 40:31 and Proverbs 3:5-6 two of my favourites.
“They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and never faint.
They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength, they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and never faint.
Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your path”
I often find myself singing it as I raise my hands to wait upon the Lord. It has a repetitive nature that is meditative. It is also pretty much pure scripture so when I sing it, the power in the words brings them to life. My strength is renewed and I lean in to God and away from my own understanding. As the waiting continues, as I speak in tongues or just be quiet and still, God makes the straight paths clear and I know I can walk them without getting weary. I am comforted and strengthened.
After I became a Mum my Pastor pointed out Isaiah 40: 11.
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
I love that this verse is smack in the middle of warnings to “important” people and whole nations because so often the ‘work’ of a Mum seems completely unimportant.
Some days I wonder. ‘What was the point of that day?’ I folded three loads of washing and here are three more ready to go tomorrow, they ate all the food I prepared, the baby slept, no-one will ever know I vacuumed and by the time my daughter is 10 she will have forgotten that she ever played with me at the park today.
We had a builder do some work at our place this week. He came in one day and quietly built an entire room! That night, as I showed my husband, I found myself thinking, ‘If he was a Mum, someone would come in tonight and pull the whole thing down, take away all the pieces and tomorrow he’d have to do it all over again from scratch!’
But that is not true. Yes the washing-cooking-cleaning-grind feels like groundhog day but the building work is going on, unseen, inside my family everyday.
It is good for me to remember Isaiah 40:11,
First Jesus holds the children in his arms and close to his heart. He does not hold the washing, folding or the ironing close to his heart. So if I let the Holy Spirit change my heart beat to the same rhythm as God’s then I can lift my eyes from ground hog day to eternity. I can lose some of the stress and be a bit less Martha and a lot more Mary. I can do Something Beautiful for Jesus.
Second he gently leads those that have young. We are treated more tenderly than the ‘important’ people. He has more compassion for what we are doing than what the kings and their armies are doing. When I am being hard on myself I can get discouraged. But when I go to God, I recognise the reason things were not going so well was because I have pulled my lambs out of the shepherd’s arms and tried to lead them by myself without even letting the shepherd take care of me.
We have a gentle and attentive shepherd in those first years of our children’s lives, he knows we need him. We just have to accept it.
He will walk at our pace, guide us, protect us, teach and rescue us. He will carry our children close to his heart. At the same time he will strengthen and lift up our weary ‘young men’, our husbands, as they hope in the Lord.
Be encouraged, be blessed today, wait for the Lord, wait upon him. Actually do the waiting. Stand there and wait. He will come.
Lots of love,
© Lauren Macdonald. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Macdonald @ http://godhelpmei.com