Close your eyes and think of God. What images or words come to mind? How do you picture God? Write down or draw your thoughts. (You don’t have to write full sentences, but you’ll use these notes later.)

Are there some characteristics of God that you don’t think about much? It’s common to think of God as love, but what about just, wrathful, holy, merciful, faithful, comforter or father? Read slowly through Isaiah 40 at least three times. This chapter highlights many of the characteristics of God. Pray through the verses that stand out to you and reflect on what those verses reveal about God's character. Listen for what God might be revealing to you about who He is.

In your Facebook Note, reflect on what you learned about God's character and the many ways He relates to us. Write about how your perspective of God changed from before you read Isaiah 40 to after. Are there any specific attributes of God you tend to leave out when you think about Him? Do you tend to mold God into who you think He is based on characteristics you like but ignore the ones you don’t like? Does molding God based on your needs make you forget just how powerful He is?

Happily enough, Isaiah 40 is actually one of my favorite chapters in scripture.  I haven't always been a runner, but I've always enjoyed running.  When I run, though, I often grow tired fairly quickly.  My legs will be sore, my lungs will burn, my stomach will cramp.  But I keep going.  My running time is often also my quiet time with God.  It's a time to stretch myself, push my body to my limits, and enjoy doing what He built me to do.

When I'm running through the neighborhood, through the park, or on trails in the mountains, I feel even closer to God.  I breathe in the air He made, pound my feet against the dirt He imagined, and generally get to enjoy the creation He crafted.  It's then, more often than anywhere else, when I'm reminded about just how big he is.  The world is a very large place - the planet is so much wider and more broad than my tiny 5K run - but it is still nothing compared to the awesomeness of God.

When I read through Isaiah 40, I'm reminded of the limits I put on God.  I tend to think of my life according to my timetable - my schedule.  It's easy to forget that my plans have no impact on God's vision for my life.  He has a set of goals for me, and He'll reveal them to me in time.  But it's so easy to turn from patience to frustration to demandingness when His schedule is held to a far different rule than my own.

"The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”

Isaiah 40:8

The fact that God is willing - and eager - to relate to us at all is beyond fantastic.  He is greater than the sum of all the universe.  But He's still willing to run with me.  There aren't words to describe how wonderful that feels or how uplifting that knowledge is to me.  But it characterizes my entire relationship with God, and is one of the things I love most about the way He relates to me.