2007 started for me with a Sermon from Pastor Paul Sartarelli at the Chapel in Akron. On that Sunday he preached about Isaiah 40,
Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
I have read this passage many times over the years and have turned to it in many times of need. What Pastor Paul said that day forever changed my view of this passage, and helped me understand God just a little better than I had the day before. He talked about the strength of God, and the power of God and then he got a little more quiet. He talked about how sometimes, as Christians, things will happen here on earth that there is just not an explanation for. Times when believers will soar over the earth like on the wings of eagles. Sometimes there will be the stamina to run this race without fail, and to finish as strong as we started. Times to run and not grow weary. And there are also times when God gives you nothing more than the strength to take the next step. There is a promise in this passage, a promise that whoever hopes in the Lord will get this strength.
2007 was a time for my husband and I to see examples of all three. We saw friends of ours who conceived and gave birth to a child, when there was no medical reason as why this was able to happen. We saw them soar over the earth like on the wings of eagles. We saw other friends adopt children into their families, and run like they have never run before. We saw ourselves struggle through what has been the hardest struggle of our marriage, and saw how God gave us the strength to do nothing more than take the next step. I don't know if he realized it at the time, but Pastor Sartarelli saw us one of these morning eating breakfast at a little diner. He stopped at our table to say hello, and witnessed one of those moments where God gave us the strength to take the next step- because we were to weak to walk on our own.
It is amazing to look back at where I was last January first, and remember the hopes and dreams I had for 2007. 2007 was a hard year, but looking back it was a good year. We finally got a puppy, Gracie. She is the perfect pup for our family. (And yes, she is spoiled rotten) We have made new friends and old friendships have gotten even stronger. We had a new nephew come into our family as well.
I can't wait to see what 2008 holds......