WEEK THREE: RENOVATION
Isaiah 41:10 (NRSV)
…do not fear, for I am with you,
do not be afraid, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
We have seen this happen on several different home renovation shows. As older homes are being renovated, serious troubles are discovered in the foundation, the walls, or the floors. Basement walls are giving way, or underlayment is rotting, or studs are not up to code. These areas need to be reinforced to keep the structure strong and secure. As beautiful as a home may look on the outside, it needs to have a reinforced, strong, basic structure to support the entire house.
Our word for today, reinforce, means to strengthen, support, or fortify. When I think of the word reinforce, I think of bracing something in order to withstand something else. Structures are reinforced to withstand the elements of nature and people- water, wind, mud, and weight. Reinforcements are needed in hostile military situations to withstand attacks. The expression, “Brace yourself!” describes how we steel or fortify ourselves to prepare for something difficult or unpleasant. I envision clenched teeth… tight fists… head ducked.
Our lifelong personal renovation must also include strengthening and reinforcing our areas of weakness. Isaiah writes of God as One who strengthens, helps, and upholds us; God reinforces us!
When we fully trust in God’s help and strength, our perspective changes. There is no bracing against but simply preparing for. We walk forward in peace and serenity, so securely braced on the inside that there is no cowering or hiding or fear. We are simply prepared for anything that comes our way. We walk without fear, not because we have a secure fortress, but because we have God with us. We are reinforced, not as a shield for our security and safety, but as a basis for our freedom and joy.
What area of weakness would you like God to reinforce today? Where do you most need God’s strength?
“Do not fear, I am with you…” Are there any fears would you like God to take?
How might God’s strength and help bring you freedom and joy this week?
God, our loving renovator,
Thank you for upholding and strengthening us as you continue to renovate our lives. Reinforce us with your power and presence, that we may walk serenely and securely, unafraid of whatever we may encounter. Help us to walk in good courage, and always with generous love. Amen.