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Keeping Watch For 18 Years | Luke 13:10-13 , Isaiah 40:26-31, Psalm 121

I believe every time when we wait in faith, when we trust Him through the Holy Saturday seasons of our lives, he rewards us. He answers our prayers and so often in ways that we could never anticipate or imagine. So, join me in Luke chapter 13, beginning in verse 10.

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It was 2005. We were paying a dollar and 13 cents for a dozen eggs, and Star Wars, Episode three, Revenge of the Sith was in the movie theater. I still remember my son loved that movie so much and he was just a little kid running around the house with his lightsabers. Hi I’m Erica, welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m so glad you’re here and I’m sure you’re going. Why are we talking about 2005? It’s because it was 18 years ago, and I think it’s helpful to think about how long ago that really was as we dive into another story about waiting on the Lord. I believe every time when we wait in faith, when we trust him through the Holy Saturday seasons of our lives, he rewards us. He answers our prayers and so often in ways that we could never anticipate or imagine. So join me in Luke chapter 13, beginning in verse 10,

One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for 18 years and was unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, dear woman, you are healed of your sickness. Then he touched her and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God.

18 years went by before God answered this woman’s prayer. Did you notice that Jesus called her dear woman? God thinks of you in a tender way. You are special to him. You can’t count the hairs of somebody’s head and not love them. And Jesus tells us in his word that he counts the hairs on our heads. That’s the kind of God that you and I can trust. I mean, there were 18 years for this woman. How many days did she wake up and say, how long, Oh Lord? And maybe that’s you today. Maybe you are in that in between season that holy Saturday. What do you do when everything looks gray? I believe we find the prescription in Isaiah chapter 40. Would you join me beginning in verse 26?

Look up,

There’s the prescription right there.

Look up into the heavens who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army one after another, calling each by its name.

Quick note here, we’ve got this God who counts our hairs and names the stars. There are trillions of stars. I don’t even know if that’s a high enough number. He gives each one a name. This is a God of detail. This is a God who cares about the details of stars, which means how much more does he care about the details of your life? Okay, because of his great power and incomparable strength, not a single one is missing, which tells me our God keeps track of the stars. Don’t you love it? He’s into astronomy. He created it.

Oh, Jacob, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? Oh, Israel, how can you say God ignores your rights? Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord,

This is the second half of our prescription.

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.

So, in Isaiah chapter 40, we find a beautiful prescription for trusting the Lord in the gray areas of life; in the Holy Saturdays of life. One, look up. Remember that the God who made the stars and names them and keeps track of them, he knows your name. He counts the hairs on your head, and he’s keeping track of the details of your life. Nothing escapes him. Nothing slips through the cracks with God. He’s got you. He’s got your loved ones. Here’s the second part of the prescription; trust in the Lord. When we dig down deep and we say, Lord, I will trust you, even if you have to take a deep breath before you say it. Lord, I will trust you even though I don’t get it. Even though it seems like something has slipped through the cracks here, because I don’t see any evidence to the contrary. Lord, I know you know what you’re doing. Have you ever worked out and you’re on one of those machines and you’re working out muscles that maybe have never had the experience before, and it’s just hard and you’re pulling your leg back, and you’re pulling your leg forward and it’s just excruciating? And you’re like, how many more reps can I do? What have I done? This is what trusting the Lord often looks like. We have to dig deep, but the Bible says right here in Isaiah that when we do that, we’ll find new strength. Just as when you begin working those muscles, you become stronger. Your body is physically stronger. When you trust the Lord, your spirit is going to grow stronger. And we have a promise here; when we take the prescription to God, the pharmacist, and we say, I want to fill this, he says, okay. When you do this, you’re going to soar high on wings like eagles. You’re going to run and not grow weary. Do you know eagles can fly above the storm? God is going to give you that ability. It’s going to feel hard at first. First, you’re going to feel like you’re still in that storm. You are fighting rain, and it’s the kind of rain that’s cold and you’re going to feel that and then all of a sudden you’re going to start working those muscles and you’re going to realize, no, I’m doing it. I am trusting the Lord, and you’re going to fly above the storm like the eagles. You’ll soar high on wings like eagles; high above your troubles and your circumstances. You and I can do this. I know it’s hard. I’m in the middle of a holy Saturday right now. My son is battling some health issues and it’s hard, and I want to go, Lord, can’t you just heal him like you walked up to the woman who suffered for 18 years, bent over? And sometimes God does that. He immediately heals the people we love and sometimes he says, wait, I’m working even in this thing, even in the hard thing, I’m working. Trust me. Keep looking at me. Don’t take your eyes off me. It’s hard to do that, but it’s possible. You and I can look up and remember where our help comes from. Psalm 21 says,

Our help comes from the Lord.

This is a God who keeps track of stars and this is a God who keeps track of his children. There’s a beautiful quote from Charles Burgeon.

He who counts the stars and calls them by their names is in no danger of forgetting his own children.

All right, until next time. You are loved.

Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life.

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