GPS

A God who never ignores us

Posted Jul 14, 2017

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Daily Scripture

Isaiah 40:26-31

26 Look up at the sky and consider:
    Who created these?
    The one who brings out their attendants one by one,
    summoning each of them by name.
Because of God’s great strength
    and mighty power, not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, Jacob,
    and declare, Israel,
    “My way is hidden from the LORD,
    my God ignores my predicament”?
28 Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?
    The LORD is the everlasting God,
    the creator of the ends of the earth.
    He doesn’t grow tired or weary.
His understanding is beyond human reach,
29 giving power to the tired
     and reviving the exhausted.
30 Youths will become tired and weary,
     young men will certainly stumble;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
     will renew their strength;
     they will fly up on wings like eagles;
     they will run and not be tired;
     they will walk and not be weary.

Reflection Questions

After weary years of exile, Israelites now faced a long, hard trip on foot from Babylon to Israel. It was tempting for them to think God didn’t see their hardships. The prophet pointed his readers to their God, who created everything, and whose understanding is beyond human reach. He invited them (and us) to trust when we don’t understand. Trust allows us to “hope in the Lord” for renewed strength, and through faith to “fly up on wings like eagles,” to “walk and not be weary.”

  • Can you recall times when you have felt like the Israelites in Isaiah 40:27: “My way is hidden from the Lord; my God ignores my predicament”? Are there areas of your life that feel that way to you right now? In what ways can you reconnect with the Creator who “doesn’t grow tired or weary” of caring for you?
  • Isaiah wrote, “His understanding is beyond human reach” (verse 28). Our effort to control everything can keep us stuck in the very problems we seek to escape. God calls us to “let go” and trust him because “his understanding is beyond human reach.” How can trusting, really trusting, in a God who’s vastly wiser than you renew your strength by setting you free from the exhausting need to know all the answers?

If you have time, you might take a few minutes to listen to this musical testimony about God’s power to renew broken lives.

Prayer

Lord God, when I feel you are absent from my life, that you don’t care, help me trust you – and wait. When I can’t seem to love myself in a healthy way, help me to find a course correction from the trust that you love and value me. Amen.

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GPS Guide

Whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith, or you’re a long-time Christian, we want to do everything we can to help you on your journey to know, love and serve God. The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides scripture and insights to enhance your journey.

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 7th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group and a men’s group, and serves on the curriculum team.

After serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster for our Boy Scout Troop, I’m shifting roles to be the Spiritual Advisor to the Troop.  Boy Scouts, in conjunction with every major religious entity/denomination, has set up religious awards for the young men to pursue.  For those young men already devout in their faith, hopefully they can see how their faith intertwines with Scouting.  For those who might be nominally religious, perhaps the appeal of Scouting can help nudge them on their own spiritual journey. 

  • With knowledge comes responsibility, so I’ll pass along some Scout Latrine Wisdom: What is the only thing worse than sitting on a cold commode in the middle of the night?  Sitting on a warm one.

Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of Boy Scouts was once asked why he included Reverent among ideals like Trustworthy, Loyal, & Helpful in the Scout Law.  His response was simply that it didn’t come in at all - it was already there.

Baden-Powell’s description of Reverent has 3 components:

  1. Reverent to God.  It is awfully hard to be in the midst of nature and not be in awe of Creation & be amazed by the Creator’s sheer genius.
  2. Reverent to Others.  Whether it is inviting a homesick-ish Scout to join your group as you head to the pool or assisting a friend as he rushes to put up his tent before the storm, we should always strive to help the younger & weaker.
  3. Reverent to Oneself.  Applicable to today’s passage (Hallelujah! - Editor).

Our culture doesn’t seem to be very good at developing self-reverence.  On one extreme we have the artificial self-esteem build-up where we eliminate school valedictorian awards, mirrors from bathrooms, & give out participation trophies to everybody.  However, around 6th grade the mantras, “Everyone is a winner!” & “Orange slices in the min-van,” begin to lose their clout.

  • Scout Latrine Wisdom: In case of nuclear attack, hide on the toilet – it has yet to be hit.

On the other extreme our culture seems quite comfortable derogatively attacking anyone we find who is not in sync with us.  We seem to be descending into a poorly written Monty Python skit with social media shrieking about violations to a rapidly changing standard of “proper” thinking. 

I can imagine my own trial in 2025.  The gallery in the courtroom is packed.  “Mr. Lippe prefers Pepsi over Coke.”  The crowd frantically begins to fan itself.  “Mr. Lippe also thinks Progressive Insurance advertises way too much.”  3 women clutch their pearls & faint dead away.  The Prosecutor continues, “and for all the drones listening & with all glory & honor to our hallowed leader & President, Mr. Zuckerberg (Founder of Facebook), Mr. Lippe also stated on several occasions, & I quote, “I don’t use Facebook.”  The courtroom erupts into pandemonium.  (Fortunately, my defense is in good hands as my sons will immediately launch a vigorous argument questioning my mental competence to stand trial.)

Perhaps we’d be better served if, instead of seeking endorsements/encouragement from our grade card, paycheck, or social media “likes,” we sought our self-worth from God.  Maybe, ala Baden-Powell, we could go outside & marvel at God’s creation & remind ourselves that not only are we part of God’s Kingdom, but we are made in His very image.  Then we could seek ways to be a blessing to others who might be feeling weaker/smaller on that particular day.  And finally, during those times when we feel temporarily lost from God, we could be mindful that God is a stubborn God - He constantly seeks the lost & will never, ever give up.

  • Scout Latrine Wisdom: We thank you for remaining seated for the entire performance.

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