He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Psalm 23:3 NLT
I think of a sunny morning, the day after a rain storm. My neighborhood is sparkly, green and fresh. The same old street, given a jolt of life. Renewed.
Webster’s defines it this way: Renew- to make something new, fresh or strong again, regenerate
Spring! The ideal time to contemplate renewal as we watch the earth regenerate with color-popping beauty, and as we mark the dramatic death and regeneration of our savior.
Are you in need of renewal? To be made new, fresh or strong again?
Even the strongest get weak don’t they? As spiritual beings, we need restoration in every area: physically, emotionally, spiritually and beyond.
God’s word says that when we wait on Him, He renews our strength (see Isaiah 40:31). What does it mean to “wait on Him”? This is a beautiful, poetic portion of scripture, yet we can get lost in deciphering the meaning: to wait means to wait! Stop. Rest the body. Slow it on down. Pause and listen for His instructions on your next assignment.
The Lord designed our emotions. Living brings emotional challenges. Caring for demanding humans, toxic relationships, mean co-workers or a hurtful spouse causes fractured, tired emotions. Psalm 19:7 tells us that God’s word gives strength to His people. I find healing and hope when I rest in His Word. By praising and thanking Him when I’m not feeling it, this restores my soul. God therapy.
We all know the answer to spiritual malaise: prayer and reading the bible. But we often go the opposite way. James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. Spiritual strength trumps all; it is our foundation. His grace graciously awaits us, no matter how far we’ve drifted.
There is tremendous overlap in each of these three areas. When I’m finished in one, I’m usually finished in all. You too? Last week I had a day. A lousy day. Unfortunately, it was my birthday. Going to bed, I assessed and realized I was depleted in all three areas. Thus, I was weak when difficulties tried to steal my day. Yes, my special day was sabotaged because of someone being stinky. BUT if I had been intentional in these areas – seeking renewal- the day could have been brighter.
He renews my body. He renews my emotions. He renews my spirit. And my wonky perspective too. As a result, He guides me (and you) along right paths and we bring honor to His name as it says in our key verse, Psalm 23:3.
We need renewal and restoration this Easter season. Please give us a jolt of new life. We draw near to you now and know your grace-filled arms are waiting. Because of the cross, You revive us and make us new yet again.