Scripture: Isaiah 40:27-31
Key verse: (28) “[God] does not faint or grow weary…]”
Reflection: I recently caught up with a friend from college, who in the course of the conversation said, “You know, I think I have forgotten how NOT to be tired.” She said it with a self-deprecating chuckle in her voice, knowing she was being a little dramatic. But, I have to say, I know what she means. There are seasons of life that are truly exhausting. The constellation of demands looks different for all of us — some are “in the trenches” of raising small children while balancing work and social obligations, some find ourselves in the “sandwich generation” caring for both teenagers and aging parents at the same time, and some are contending with chronic conditions (ours or a loved one’s) that deplete energy for other tasks. It is true — many of us are “never not tired.”
It is amazing to me that Isaiah 40 includes a description of a God who does not get tired. The people of God have been in exile. They’ve been suffering. They’ve been waiting for promised redemption. They must’ve been tired. And finally, their comfort comes. Isaiah 40 is an encouraging, wonderful restatement of God’s providence, which is to say God’s providing, for the people. It is worth a re-read if you have time today. God the Creator creates, forgives, stands by, cares for, and counsels the people. But the best part? God doesn’t get tired (28).
God never tires of taking care of God’s people, even and especially when we’ve reached the limit of what we can offer. In our personal lives, when we’ve given it all we’ve got, and we think to ourselves, “I think I’ve forgotten how NOT to be tired,” God reminds us to stop and to wait, so that our strength can be renewed. This is true of the church, too, by the way (the text from Isaiah is addressed to a community). I wonder, when the church feels an energy slump coming on, could it be God’s reminder to stop and remember God’s faithfulness to us in all seasons? Imagine what our work would look like if it were animated by that promise — surely it would be work that is much less anxious, and perhaps bolder.
Prayer: Gracious Lord, thank you for being in it with us. When we grow tired, remind us that you never do — that you are always present and always give us what we need for life and godliness. Amen.
Author: Anna Dickson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].