Rev. Dr. Anna Verlee Copeland's Blog

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August 25 Post

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Hear the promises of God for you and for me this day:

“God does not faint or grow weary; God’s understanding is unsearchable. God gives power to the faint, and to the one who has no might, God increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” -- Isaiah 40:28-31is.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and God will sustain you.”
“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” -- Jeremiah 31:25

A million years ago when I taught sixth grade, we teachers would open the fall classroom with some enthusiastic version of “what did you do on your summer vacation?” The kids loved telling stories or writing stories of camping trips with the family, going to the pool every day, or reading every book they could, just for fun. Someone might have had a big adventure river rafting or going to Disney, but almost everyone came back renewed and ready to get to it once again.

This year is different than that. Classroom desks sit empty as some students didn’t return post-CoVid. It will take some time to figure out if they are being home-schooled or just didn’t feel safe to come back. A reported teacher shortage resulted from overstressed teachers trying to hold together on-line and in-class learning this past year, or any number of other reasons that CoVid produced for finding another vocation. The bottom line is that teachers, like front line medical workers, enter this fall season exhausted.

Many of us are all kinds of tired at a time when we’re accustomed to feeling refreshed. We’re disappointed and disillusioned that the CoVid trend shifted towards increasing infections due to the Delta variant at a time when we very much hoped to be leaning towards a new normal. You have a story of your own, and other circumstances that weary your body and soul.

God has a plan to bring us out of the pit and renew our strength. When we’re exhausted and can’t imagine where we’ll find the energy to move forward, God renews our strength for the tasks ahead. Sometimes God answers our prayer for refreshment by guiding us towards making decisions that lead to a less stressful life. Sometimes God answers prayer for renewal by encouraging us to stop what we’re doing and rest, take the day off, focus on getting a few nights of good sleep and healthier food. Sometimes God answers prayer for rest by inviting us to focus more on gratitude for what we have, than lament for what we don’t. We’re all capable of depressing ourselves down a rabbit hole as there are so many circumstances waiting to rob us of God’s promised peace.

We can’t change many of the big things in the world that are wearing on us, but we can, just for today, cast all our cares upon God, knowing that God cares deeply for us. The God who loved us into being continually draws us forward into a healed and reconciled life. Come Holy One, for we are burdened and heavy laden, and sorely in need of your promised rest.

God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you,

Dr. Anna V. Copeland
Community Church of Vero Beach