September 8, 2020
Renewing Our Strength and Hope

by Kari Minnich
"Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:30-31
For many people our daily rhythm’s and routines are what keep us intact. I can say as a parent of a child with special needs, who often has many things in life she can’t control, those daily rhythms are critical to her strength and hope. Almost 6 months ago those daily rhythms were drastically interrupted. Going to church, going to work, going to school, going to camp, going to the library, going to the store…all were suddenly stopped. At first it was new and we were adapting a new rhythm, but as time has gone we have been longing and growing weary and anxious for our “old rhythms”. I kept saying to myself “we have to be patient and wait” all while reassuring my special needs child of the unknown.

For the past 6 months we have been praying and waiting.  Many times our church family would unknowingly answer our prayer. Often times feeling weary, our responsibility is to be faithful in patience. We might think God is silent or he will never answer our prayers. We know that what may feel like forever to us is just a moment in God’s eyes. Moses waited on release, and then waited in the desert with the wandering Israelites. We see through Moses example that, regardless of what else we do, we can find peace in God’s goodness and wait upon Him. When we wait, our patience will be rewarded through His promises. We can relax with or without knowing exactly what the future holds.

Maybe not in the same way as before, but after waiting we are slowly getting back to some of our rhythms. Anticipating the 180 minutes once a week that our daughter will rejoin her special needs classroom this week is a gift to our family and an answer to prayer. Wonderful that our APC children will be able to connect via Zoom with their teachers for weekly Sunday School to hear God’s word and play music. Exciting that APC Youth Group will start on September 13 in a few small in person groups of 12 bringing joy to our teens. Knowing the Open Arms Ministry will yet again share its annual Open Arms service, virtually, on September 20 brings peace and hope. Inspired by the fact that our church provides so many small groups for each of us to be genuinely connected to one another (even if, for now, it’s by Zoom..try one!). Comforting to know that even though they don’t look exactly the same right now, as a church family we will start back to some of our old routines and connections.  Praise be to God. 
Faithful God, help us to renew our strength and hope in you. With “wings as eagles” let us rise up and find new ways to be connected as we approach our APC Kick off. Amen.
Alpharetta Presbyterian Church
180 Academy Street, Alpharetta, GA 30009