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By Major Robert Wright
“Did you win dad?” my six year old son asked me after a finished a gruelling 95km bicycle race through the streets of Johannesburg late last year. How do you explain to kids that their dad just finishing was an achievement, in itself?
Although I had trained hard, had decent equipment and felt ready for the ride, the summer heat of near 40°Celsius was intense and sapped every last ounce of energy out my body. There were times I wondered if I could finish the race, but gratefully kind people with garden hoses and jugs of cold water were on the road, ready to cool us down along the way. Just when I felt like giving up, the cool water sprayed over my body seemed like a life-giving injection that kept me going for another few kilometers. The refreshing cold water rejuvenated my body and mind, helping me finish the race that day.
It’s the nature of life that we all get tired and weary at times. Where we were once energetic and full of passion about the goals and dreams for our lives, obstacles come our way, life gets tough and the pressure seems to crush us. It happens to us spiritually too. At one time spiritually on fire – prepared to do any and everything for Jesus – at times we become weary in doing good. It’s not that we’ve fully rejected Jesus or his work in our lives, but we truly need refreshing, rejuvenation, a spiritual reawakening.
This weariness, the loss of vision and passion even affects us as the church. You just need to read Revelations 2 and 3 to see how once vibrant churches who did incredible things for God, can fall into apathy and even spiritual death. Commissioner Conrad’s call to us as The Salvation Army Southern Africa for Rejuvenation is greatly needed, as individuals, as Corps and as an organization as a whole. We need to be refreshed, rejuvenated and made alive once again.
Even young people can be affected, read Isaiah 40:30-31 (NLT) “Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
Praise God! Weariness is not the end of the story, because as we trust in God we can find new strength. The bible tells us that there are daily promises of refreshing; Lamentations 3:22-23 (NLT) “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
Despite what has happened before, regardless of the pain that overwhelms us all, even our own sins that entangle us and pull us back, as individuals and as an Army called by God we have a mission greater than ourselves. Let us pray for refreshing, for rejuvenation so we may fulfil our purpose and our mission, souring like eagles, running, walking but never fainting.
My prayer for us as individuals, as young people in our Army, for our movement as a whole; that God’s Spirit will wash over us again, bringing true refreshing and rejuvenation. May we Reclaim our identity as children of God, his Army on a mission.
May God Revive us once again, breathing life into our souls through his word, through worship, prayer and genuine repentance.
May God Restore the broken walls in our lives, in our families, our sexuality and even our communities? Lastly may God Renew our purpose and mission, as we journey, even hustle with God on our side, serving his people and reaching a broken world with the gospel of hope.
Let us hold to this promise; Galatians 6:9 (NIV) “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”