Holy Week with Holding Onto Hope - Wednesday

Holy Week with Holding Onto Hope - Wednesday

For Holy Week 2024 we have selected reflections and artwork from Holding Onto Hope by father and daughter duo, Amy Boucher-Pye and Leo Boucher. 

Holding Onto Hope is a 40-day journey exploring the themes of hope and new life through vivid biblical images and can be used through Lent or during any 40-day period.

Our strength renewed

Growing up, each summer my close friends and I would head up to a Christian camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. This protected land hosts no motorised vehicles; the lakes run clear, the call of the loons resounds and the mosquitos grow to epic proportions. As we canoed from lake to lake, we belted out camp songs, from ‘Oh you can’t get to heaven…’ to one based on Isaiah 40:31: ‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles.’

With the second song, we looked for a literal empowering from God to restock our energy. We sang, ‘They shall run and not grow weary; they shall walk and not faint,’ not considering that the strength Isaiah speaks of might be anything other than physical. We were young; we pushed ourselves; we wanted God to give us more energy to succeed in our quest. And he did, with only a few tears along the way. 

Only in the years following did I come to learn that this verse sits in a pivotal chapter in Isaiah. Up to chapter 40, God’s message was one of sadness and judgement – his people had failed him as they served other gods. They didn’t love him with their whole hearts.

But then God announced a message of comfort and hope: ‘A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord… And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together”’ (vv. 3, 5). When we understand that God is beyond comparison (v. 18), that he ‘stretches out the heavens like a canopy’ (v. 22), and that he never wearies or grows tired (v. 28), we can more deeply comprehend verse 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’.

God gives strength to the weary. God renews our stores of hope so that we can keep on running the race before us, at times even soaring like the glorious creatures in the sky. Yes, he gives us physical strength for each new day, but he also meets our needs in so many other ways. Not least, he helps us to hope and trust in him.

God of times of weariness and of times of soaring, meet me in all
my needs, whether physical, emotional, spiritual or practical. You
are the maker of all; from you I receive what keeps me going from
moment to moment. Help me to acknowledge how you care for
me, even as I ask you for more help and strength and love. Amen.

Holding Onto Hope £12.99

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