God Will Renew You! –
Yesterday, I put my feet into the Caribbean Sea. The water was so refreshing, so cool, so invigorating, I asked myself, “Why has it taken me so long to come back to the water?” The waves were strong and relentless. It was not long until a waved knocked me to the sandy floor and dragged me toward the deep. As the refreshing water rushed over my head, with arms outstretched, I thought to myself about the refreshing nature of the love of God- how God takes us as we are, refreshes and renews us at every stage of life. No matter how old, jaded and callous we may be, no matter how much we think we have seen, the Lord continues to speak to us and renew us on a daily basis.
The Prophet Zephaniah concludes his prophecy to Israel with encouraging words of renewal. The first two and a half chapters are a prophecy of doom and gloom, punishment and anger of God. However, in the second half of the third chapter, the prophet blesses his hearers with the good news that God is nearby, aware of their condition and has promised renewal and restoration to the people.
Perhaps there is someone reading this piece who is in search of renewal. Maybe you need a renewed spirit so you might be better equipped to enjoy life, your relationships and your outlook on life. I believe the intention of God is that you and I live life to the fullest and that we enjoy life. If you feel stuck in a rut, I encourage you to continue to pray to the Lord for refreshment, rejuvenation and renewal, think about the history of the Jewish people. During the days of Zephaniah, the Lord starts with chastisement and ends with renewal. In like manner, I believe that the good Lord has called you and me to be refreshed on a daily basis. Listen to the promise of God as told through the prophet, Zephaniah:
Zephaniah 3: 17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
18 as on a day of festival.
Questions for Reflection:
- What do you think the process for spiritual renewal requires?
- What are some of the major challenges to spiritual renewal?
Lord, I seek I your renewal. In you I thirst for the refreshing water of your grace, mercy and love. Touch me now and I shall come alive. In my temptation to become callous and cold, renew my soul. Breath on me and I shall become energized with your inspiration. Hold my hand, Lord. Refresh me. Renew me. Reinvigorate me through the power of your Holy Spirit. Bless me now, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Nicholas Hood III
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Zep 3:17–18). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.