Those Who Wait

Dear Friends,

I may have told you before about John Banaszak, the great football player who won several Super Bowl rings with the storied Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1970s. I heard him speak once after his playing days were over when he was coaching at Washington and Jefferson College in Pennsylvania, in the same small city where I was a pastor.

He told about a time when he was walking through a mall and came across a big fan. The man was with his young son, and it had been 20 years or more since Banaszak had been a player, but the man recognized him right away. The man stopped Banaszak and said hello, then looked down to his son, and said, "Son, this man was a great football player."

And the little boy looked up at Banaszak and kind of wrinkled his nose and said, "This old man was a great football player."

Our Scripture lesson last weekend, the first weekend of Advent, was from Isaiah, where he writes, "All people are grass, The grass withers, the flower fades." (Isaiah 40:6-7). The grass withers and the flower fades for all of us, not just John Banaszak. It might be age, or loss, or disappointment, or failure, or difficulty, but things that are negative seem to happen all the time in our lives. They can wear us down and even wear us out, and change us in ways that can be just devastating.

But Isaiah goes on to say, "But the word of our God will stand forever." (40:8) Whatever else may be changing in our lives, God will never change. His promises are true, his love and mercy are steadfast, his hope is everlasting.

Isaiah ends this section on a crescendo when he proclaims, "But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint!" (40:31)

I hope these seasons you are in right now -- of Advent, and in your life -- are good ones for you just now, even great ones. But even if not, don't get worn down or worn out. Remember the One who can turn it all around. Those who wait for him will never be disappointed.

Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane