It’s 10:30 pm and for the first time since sunrise, the house is still, peaceful and quiet. I can feel the muscles in my shoulders slowly start to let go of the stresses of the day as I melt into the corner of the living room sectional couch that fits me like my favorite sweatshirt. The day is done, or at least I’ve done all that I am going to do. Another long day down, with another long day tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.
We all experience weariness at some time or another, whether from life’s circumstances, events beyond our control, or just running ourselves ragged. Day-to-day stuff like job demands, kids sports schedules, appointments, and day-to-day responsibilities and obligations can eat up any margin we may have had in our daily routine. Life left to its own devices can exhaust our physical and mental strength and make us feel weary. And it’s all too easy to rely on our own strength and ingenuity when we are working hard to keep all our plates spinning. Even youths (the people we would least suspect of being weary) get tired and weak when they are running on their own strength.
But in Isaiah 40:29-31, we are given the antidote to weariness…HOPE!
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”
Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength! Renewing my strength sounds fabulous, but what does it look like to hope in the Lord? In Hebrew, the word for hope is quavah and is defined as the anticipation of a future that is better than the present. Biblical hope is not based on circumstances but on trusting in God’s character. Helping the weary and helpless is part of God’s character!
In the same way that God was faithful to save the Israelites in the days of Isaiah, He is faithful today to work on our behalf. Hope is being confident, knowing that God’s character does not disappoint and He never abandons us. When we lean in and hope in the Lord, it allows Him to breathe new life into our lungs. His Spirit stirs in our hearts and we can begin to imagine how it just might be possible to have a better day ahead. Even when we are powerless, we miraculously find the strength to stand, and then to step forward by His strength and power!
We can tap into that power by doing what Jesus did: spending time with God. In His presence, we are renewed, our strength is restored, and we become more and more like Him. In the presence of His Spirit, He brings order to our chaos.
Spend time with Him, pray to Him, bring your cares and worries and fears. Lay them at His feet and He will give you His perspective and wisdom about what is truly important.
I can imagine Him whispering in our weakness…
Your power is limited, but mine is infinite.
Your perspective is shortsighted, but I can see the whole big picture in one view–have hope!
Your heart can only take so much, but I am here and can carry it all for you.
I love you infinitely more than you can fathom.
You may stumble and fall but I will pick you back up again. Over and over.
You don’t have to be perfect because I am and my grace/love/favor is enough.
You don’t have to struggle and strive to engineer your future. I know every step you have taken and will take and I have great plans for you.
Stop pushing past your limits. You don’t have to manufacture strength, instead draw near to me and my presence will give you strength and peace.
Spend time with me, learn to recognize my voice and how I move in the world. Get to know me and I can lead you through anything.
Stick close to me, have hope and together we will SOAR.