Originally published on February 20th, 2007 at Onward & Upward
When I was in middle and high school, I ran track. I started as a sprinter, and then moved to long distance. I didn’t excel at either – I think my race was more the 400 m – but I stuck with the long distance for a long time. Sometimes it was so hard to keep going… Panting heavily, my chest aching, my muscles screaming for respite. Those races would take a lot out of me, as I pushed myself to make it to the finish line. I would talk to myself to keep me from quitting. One passage from Isaiah kept me going:
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.
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.
There are two passages of Scripture I always read outloud whenever I am feeling down or discouraged: Psalm 139 and Isaiah 40. I would cling to the latter chapter when I was running. The idea of soaring like an eagle… running and not growing weary! I must admit, as I came panting to the finish line, I rarely felt that I was soaring. That’s something I look forward to being able to do in Heaven!
This passage doesn’t refer to just physical strength, though. How many times do we feel weary from life? Tired of running… Worn out from whatever trials we may be facing… “Even youths grow tired and weary…” For me, some of the biggest trials have been waiting… Waiting for the time to be right, waiting for the next bend in the road. I’ve gotten tired of the monotony of daily life during those times.
The beauty of this passage is that it offers hope to those of us who are tired and weary. Have you not heard? The LORD doesn’t grow tired. He always has the strength needed to get to the end. And the best news of all – He freely gives it to those who “hope in Him”. They will feel strengthened, renewed. They will soar on wings like eagles. Wow!
God has blessed me a lot – I haven’t had to deal with some of the difficult trials that others have dealt with. In some ways, I don’t feel that I can truly speak of the wonderful strength that God has to give us. I can only offer what His word says, through His prophet Isaiah… He knows you don’t have the strength to finish on your own. That’s why He is standing there right next to you, giving you a water bottle and giving you that extra boost of energy you need to make it to the finish line!
Can I say it again? Our God is so good.