In our effort to reduce our anxiety this week, I invite you to consider Who it is that you are on this journey to please? As Orthodox Christians, we spend most of our time talking about defeating pride, and loving others as ourselves, but Who are you doing this for? Is it for your children, your spouse, your friend? You might think I believe you should be on this journey for yourself, but you would be wrong.
I believe you should be on this journey for God, above everyone else. Some people think God demands too much of our attention. Some people think God is selfish in wanting us to love Him more than anyone else. Some people attribute our fallen human logic and emotions to God. All these things would be wrong. God, as expressed so beautifully in today’s reading from Isaiah (you can read it below), is greater than anything we could ever conceive. He is greater than anything we could create. He is more powerful than any power on Earth. He is all these, and yet He is your friend, your brother, your comfort, your savior.
If anything can reduce our anxiety this week, it is focusing on a God Who can give power to the faint, increase power to the weak, renew the exhausted, and run with the weary. Our limitations can be a source of anxiety, but God has the power to overcome our limitations. He has the power to comfort our fears. He has the understand to reassure our soul. But most importantly God has the willingness to walk with you on this journey, and “they shall walk and not faint.”
Thus says the LORD: To whom then will you liken God, or what likeness compare with him? The idol! a workman casts it, and a goldsmith overlays it with gold, and casts for it silver chains. He who is impoverished chooses for an offering wood that will not rot; he seeks out a skilful craftsman to set up an image that will not move. Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nought, and makes the rulers of the earth as nothing. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows upon them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble. To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? Says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hid from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary, his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40.18-31