05 February 2012

Tired? Need Hope? Need Strength?

 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. 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 be faint. Isaiah 40-28-31
Gracious Father, this was one of the first Scriptures I memorized as a young believer, yet reading it today is like finding a new treasure in an old field; fresh cut flowers in the corner of a dusty attic; a cool fountain of grace in a dry desert of brokenness. That’s one of the things I most love about your Word. It’s never antiquated, redundant or irrelevant, but always timely, trustworthy and faith-building. You’re the God who speaks in specifics and without stuttering. You’re the Father who knows what we need even before we ask, and who provide before we ask.

This passage from Isaiah is underlined multiple times in my favorite Bible, and for good reason. It reminds me that you’re not like me (Hallelujah!), in so many ways. You never get tired or weary. I do and I am. Accepting limitations, finiteness, and weakness has never been one of my strengths. But I must. Since youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall, why do I think I’m exempt from “running on empty” and hitting a wall?

Father, I’m not asking to soar like an eagle, as fun as that might be; and I’m not seeking to run like a marathoner, though I’d love to. Just walking upright with a renewed heart, a steady gait, and a replenished energy will be enough.

My hope is in you, loving Father, merciful Abba—the God who brings refreshment into the wilderness; the generous Lord, who promises sufficient grace for every day and each exigency; the Almighty God who makes mountains dance and trees clap their hands.

Right now I look to you for all the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical strength I’ll need to live out the implications of the gospel just today. I’m not depleted, though heading there, but I have no doubts about your great compassion for me in Jesus. Give me deep sleep and refreshing naps. Make fresh fruit be as appealing as carrot cake and fudge pie. Don’t let me talk myself out of exercise.

Because Jesus embraced the ultimate weakness and weariness of the cross, I’m confident of your burden-bearing love. I may be weary in my servanthood, but I’m thriving in my sonship. Nothing can separate me from your love; not unreasonable people, nor unlimited needs, nor unfinished tasks. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name. Amen. - Scotty Smith

Scotty Smith is Founding Pastor of Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition.

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