If you ever start questioning if “ending it” is the only answer, it’s not! Get help from the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline—(800) 273-8255, or the Crisis Text Line (text to 741-741). More resources are available on our website.
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.
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.”
If you have time, you might take a few minutes to listen to this musical testimony about God’s power to renew broken lives.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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