I am currently training for a marathon. I know, I also question myself for willingly choosing to run 26.2 miles. The marathon isn’t until October so there is still a lot of running left to do – oh joy. Already, God has been teaching me about discipline and the limited capacity I have as a human. I have the same amount of time in my day as I used to, but now I have to add going for a run. And warming up. And cooling down. It all adds up and takes time out of my day, meaning I have to sacrifice something.
If you’re like me, you say “yes” to too many things and too many people. Then you find yourself stretched thin and trying to do all of the things out of your own strength. When my plate is full, I am very tempted to ditch time with God to have enough time for something else. Needless to say, this process is exhausting and it makes me forgetful. Self-forgetful (like not in tune with my own emotional and physical needs), forgetful to text someone back, or forgetful of the truth of my identity in God.
In the passage for this week, I am reminded of how different God is from me and what good news that is.
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but 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 be faint.
Questions to Consider
Which descriptions of God highlight how He is different from humans or “youths”?
What is the role of hope?
How does God give strength to the weary and increase the power of the weak?
Where are you gaining your energy, strength, and courage from? Yourself, your people, your to-do list, or God?
How can you depend on God and who He is daily to sustain you in busy or hard seasons?
I love how the author starts this section of Isaiah with some questions. I almost read it as sarcasm – don’t you know how infinite and capable and strong the God of the Universe is? These verses help me to slow down and remember my rightful place – a human being with limited capacity who was made to be dependent on a loving God.
The reality highlighted here is that on our own, we grow weary and stumble. However, God’s supply of energy, love, understanding, wisdom, and life will never run out. He is always able to give you more of what you need. Besides, the weary and weak are the ones who get to receive God’s strength and power. When I try to do life, especially busy seasons, out of my own strength, there is never enough of what I need to actually sustain me. Let alone enough to overflow to be a blessing to those around me. However, it is when I am humbled, genuinely trusting in God, and depending on who He is, that my soul feels like it is home and like it can breathe – regardless of my current circumstances. My prayer is that you and I can keep growing in wisdom of what to say “no” to in our schedules so that we can protect a meaningful connection with the everlasting God.
Whether you are in a season of suffering or your summer is just busier than you thought it was going to be and you are tired, I encourage you to examine what you are hoping in. How is that going for you? How can you hope in God alone to renew your strength instead? I know I will be hoping fully in God, and not my own ability, to “run and not grow weary” during my marathon…
Oh and “not be faint”... or physically faint at mile 20 ;-).
Did you know that all of our Summer Devotionals this year are available as podcasts? Click here to listen to this episode.