We often associate that word with refresh and starting again. A second chance also comes to mind. I also think of being able to breathe again after a difficult period of time circumstance. According to Miriam-Webster, that is exactly what it means. Renew means to make new again, to regenerate, to rebuild, to repeat, or to resume. What does that mean for the weary mom whos just plain tired of muscling through life?
My human mind and body have been craving renewal- renewal in my home, with the kids, and in our home school. Maybe that’s the cry of your mama’s heart, too, as a weary mom. I have been fighting burnout and exhaustion for a while and I’m feeling quite battle-worn and desperate for renewal as a mom. Interestingly, the last two posts I wrote revolved around Isaiah 40:31. That piqued my curiosity so at the end of my last post two weeks ago I said that I would dig into renewal next time. Little did I know just how desperately I would need that study in the days that followed!
I guess it shouldn’t surprise us that there are a handful of verses in the Bible that speak of renewal. While they don’t speak directly to motherhood, the truths found in the pages of scripture can be easily applied to motherhood. After all, we are our best when we are walking with the Lord so the focus needs to be there. Everything else will fall into place. There are a few verses in the Old Testament that speak of the restoration of the land and becoming right with the Lord. The New Testament passages talk of new growth and being spiritually transformed. In those verses are some amazing truths.
It’s the work of the Lord that brings restoration.
Jeremiah asks the Lord to bring about restoration, helping us see that it is the work of the Lord in our lives. His request for restoration is about restoring their relationship with the Lord. He’s not asking the Lord to make their lives easy and bearable. This also clues us into understanding that we can be renewed regardless of our circumstances.
I was mistaken to think that rest and renewal would take the pain away or at least make life bearable for me. My thinking was selfish and focused on myself. That never ends well, though, and I have discovered that’s never a priority in scripture. I have blogged so many times about trials bringing growth, God using our trials for His glory and how He uses our trials to bring others to salvation, but I got distracted by wanting the pain and difficulties to stop. (hand to forehead)
The more I search the Bible, I see that renewal instead goes hand in hand with a right relationship with the Lord. In the Old Testament, David pleas with the Lord to create a clean heart and renew a right spirit within him. Isaiah tells us that waiting on the Lord will bring about renewed strength. In the New Testament, Paul speaks of renewal coming when we leave the old self and the world behind.
Renewal is directly related to our relationship with the Lord.
If we look closely, renewal in the Bible deals with our faith and our right-standing before the Lord. Renewal comes from walking with the Lord and making the relationship with Him a priority. Our renewal comes from letting our relationship with the Lord change us. Renewal comes after repentance.
Psalm 103 tells us that renewal, like repentance, is a gift from God. David praises the Lord in verses 1-5 with praise that bubbles out from deep within him. He praises God because he has personally experienced God’s goodness:
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Really, that’s what renewal is all about. Renewal brings rest and joy. It brings peace and a full heart. It brings forgiveness and contentment. But how do we get God’s gift of renewal?
The Bible says two things specifically about renewal.
First, Jesus says to come unto him all who labor and are weary and He will give them rest. Jesus is inviting us into relationship with Him. He would like us to go beyond superficial beliefs and spend time getting to know Him.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Second, later on in the New Testament, Paul tells us that we will be renewed by the transforming of our minds. He tells us that we need to leave the world behind in order for that transformation to take place. The word for renewal here means to change for the better. We will find renewal if we lean into and seek a relationship with the Lord.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
So how do we do that? Spending time in God’s word and prayer is vital. It is important that we spend time at our Savior’s feet listening for and to His voice. We need to cast our cares on Him and trust His sovereign plan for our lives with those cares. Laying down our cares and replacing them with truths from God’s word will help us be restored and renewed. It is also vital that we take care to remove the world’s influence from our mind and our lives as the Lord shows us the things that are not of Him.
Keep your eyes on Jesus- that’s the way to renewal.
As the old hymn says, turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. I can give testimony to the truth of those words, by God’s grace. My study on renewal revealed that selfishness had rooted itself in my heart and needed to be removed. Drawing close to the Lord and spending time in His Word was the remedy. Today, I am praising God for turning my eyes back to Him and bringing about renewal in my heart.
Did my circumstances change and get easier? Nope, but my focus changed. Life is still challenging but repentance restored my relationship with the Lord. That changed me for the better.
If you are finding yourself desperate for renewal as a weary mom, find a few minutes to be alone with God. Ask Him to renew you and He will show you the way.