Read: “Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to them, ‘Do not fear!'” -Isaiah 35:3-4a
Reflect: Do you ever talk to yourself? Surely most of us do (please tell me I’m not alone!). Isaiah is giving instructions from God to people who are in exile, waiting for God to act on their behalf. They have lost their home, their neighbors, their extended families, their place of worship, their sense of belonging to a country, their freedom. Now they live in an unfamiliar place under a foreign power.
In the midst of such pain, Isaiah instructs them to talk to themselves. To tell their hands to be strong, and their knees to stop knocking together in fear. This is more than just a pep talk. Rather, Isaiah is getting them ready because he proclaims that God is about to act on their behalf. Isaiah doesn’t want them or us to miss it because fear distracts us from what God is about to do in our midst.
As you lean into Lent, talk to yourself. Maybe you’re doubting you can make your commitment to weekly worship, or give up your daily Diet Coke habit, or read a chapter of Scripture EVERY day. Tell yourself- don’t fear!
Pray: When I am doubting what you can do in me, Lord, help me to hold on to my knocking knees, and help me have courage. Amen.
Act: Call or text someone who you know is stretching to grow spiritually this Lent. Tell them you are praying for them and do it!
Family: Make a sign you can tape to your child’s bathroom mirror that will be an encouraging message s/he can say everyday this week, like “God is with you all the time!”