Isaiah 40:29-31 (NLT)
He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Man, I am tired. It’s only Wednesday, Hump Day and I can barely keep my eyes open. Are you tired? Tired is characterized by a number of symptoms. Tired can mean exhausted by exertion, sleepy or worn out. It can mean fatigued in our mind or body. Some people would describe it as weariness. Others may feel bored with life like everything is a bit stale. It may mean that we are simply being impatient. To different people the same word can mean something totally different. Today tired for me is just sleepy. An afternoon ball game followed by pizza with friends that made bedtime a bit later although the alarm was set for the same time. Yesterday it meant impatient when the things I have been praying for showed no signs of movement. Who knows what it will mean tomorrow? The Lord gives “power to the weak and strength to the powerless.” I am going to need some of that today dealing with kids, work and the broken garage door. Young people become weak. Age does not define the discipline of our body, mind and spirit. There are some elderly folks that kick my butt at the gym and some very young people who last about twenty minutes then leave. It all comes down to trusting the Lord to find our strength for each day. Everyone is faced with new challenges with each sunrise and though many may be resolved by sunset, some may linger. We run. We walk. We worry. We stress. We even play. We rest. No matter what our routine in life, there will be days of just plain being tired. There is a point.
To trust the Lord in each day for each moment gives us strength. When we experience tiredness or weakness – it is an opportunity to discover more of His Power reserved for us. God never gets tired. He never grows weary. He is always ready to be active in our life. Sometimes we just have to get worn out to move out of the way and let Him do His Thing. To be tired marks the end of self in certain areas. If we are physically exhausted, we have reached the end of our body’s strength. We need rest. If we are emotionally weary, we have reached the end of self. We need peace. If we are bored, we have reached the limit of our attention. We need to focus. If we are stale, there is a need for refreshed. We need rejuvenation. If we are impatient, it is time to wait. All these things are signs and symptoms designed to push us to the source of life. It tells us that we need something that is missing. A vitamin deficiency creates a physical symptom that tells the body to find what is needed. A spiritual deficiency is evidenced in tiredness, weariness, and burdens that never meant for us.
Isaiah 43:21-24 (NLT)
But, dear family of Jacob, you refuse to ask for my help. You have grown tired of me, O Israel! You have not brought me sheep or goats for burnt offerings. You have not honored me with sacrifices, though I have not burdened and wearied you with requests for grain offerings and frankincense. You have not brought me fragrant calamus or pleased me with the fat from sacrifices. Instead, you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your faults.
Are you tired of God? Of course not! We want the Lord to save us, heal us and deliver us. We come to Him with our sin hoping to find blessing. But are we doing what He has told us to do? We can drift in and out of the Presence of God. But that is not the life desires us to have! We love the Grace of God and want all of His Gifts. A diver depends on the oxygen in the tank strapped to his back. It determines how long he can stay underwater and breathe. When the tank begins to run low, he makes his way to the surface for air. If he wants to dive deeper or longer, he will strap on a new tank. Christians live like this many times. They come to God when they cannot “breathe” anymore and life becomes overwhelming venturing off again once their strength is renewed. The difference between a fish and a diver is that the fish lives in the water. It can breathe in the environment it was created for so it doesn’t rely on a temporary source but thrives in its natural home. We are temporary residents of this world destined for Eternity. Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he (or she) is a new creation. The way we live changes from that moment on. The world has nothing for us. It is time to change the way we live to become familiar with our new environment.
Jeremiah 32:40-41 (NLT)
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good for them. I will put a desire in their hearts to worship me, and they will never leave me. I will find joy doing good for them and will faithfully and wholeheartedly replant them in this land.
Our covenant with God through His Son, Jesus Christ changes us. It changes who we are and our life potential in a single second. To live the way that we used to is no longer satisfying as if it really was before. We cry out to God for change. We want His Power and Blessing in our life but somehow forget that there is a dramatic and overwhelming change of heart going on inside of us. If we truly desire a Savior and Lord, things will never be the same. The freedom experienced at the Cross gives us a glimpse of what it means to live unhindered. Suddenly it seems as though we are somehow broken and weak. Thank God! For when I am weak, He becomes my strength.
When our middle daughter was a child, she would fall down a lot. For no reason, simply walking across the room she would stumble. As she grew older, there were other fine and gross motor skill deficiencies that led us to seek medical advice. For a year, she was poked, prodded and tested. The doctors could not seem to find a source. Her pediatrician recommended physical therapy for a possible balance disorder. The therapist told us that her muscles were as tight as when you have a muscle cramp. That they did not relax no matter what they did to work it out. With tears in her eyes, one sweet lady informed us that our daughter had lived in pain since birth but knew nothing else. My heart was broken on the spot. Thankfully soon after that the Lord would provide the answer with a diagnosis that would lead to medication which would help her muscles cooperate again. I wonder how often we live with burdens, exhaustion, and pain which could be released to the Lord for quick satisfaction. Imagine living without the cares and worries that you accept as part of life. What if each day we lugged them to the Cross and didn’t drag them off again, but rather left praising God and really living again? It is totally possible because we are in an everlasting covenant with the Living God. He wants us to come to Him for everything we need. Even those things we have convinced are our burdens in life – one of the biggest lies the enemy has ever told. See you don’t deserve punishment. The Cross you are to carry is that of discipleship and righteousness. It is not heavy or burdensome. We give God our worst and He gives us His Best. This must be a constant exchange.
Isaiah 35:1-8 (NLT)
Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God. With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind and unplug the ears of the deaf. The lame will leap like a deer, and those who cannot speak will sing for joy! Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived. And a great road will go through that once deserted land. It will be named the Highway of Holiness. Evil-minded people will never travel on it. It will be only for those who walk in God’s ways; fools will never walk there.
The Highway of Holiness does not sound fun or exciting. It requires daily discipline that no matter how tired we become pursuing hope is our only option. Faith keeps us in the race. It keeps us moving when we feel too weary to take another step, life our arms or praise our God. We must do it anyway. Coming to Jesus begins a process of total restoration but we want immediate relief. This is not possible in some areas of life simply because the Lord must make every detail work together for good in our life. He does nothing halfway. We are complicated orders – some more than others. There are those times that we veer off-course because we get sick of the process part. It is human nature in the midst of change to look for release when we no longer have control of our life. Thank God for new mercy that puts us back on track. Let me let you in on a little secret that I just found out today. Holiness lifts our burden. Say what? When we walk in God’s Way no matter how things look, everything in our life is renewed. Sin does not cause us to stumble. Love overflows filling each void left by misplaced expectation. Satisfaction rises from our connection to Jesus which is our source of life.
Micah 6:3 and 8 (NLT)
O my people, what have I done to you? What have I done to make you tired of me? Answer me…
No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Have you grown tired of following Christ? Be honest. There are some days when I forget what He requires of me. The beautiful exchange that by His Grace is my blessing every single day as He takes the ugly and broken things in my life restoring them to better than new. I grab hold of the lie that tells me I can somehow do better or that the Lord doesn’t want to be bothered with my petty little problems or that He has grown tired of my bad attitude. Nothing could be further from the truth. He does not weigh me down with burdens, problems or regret but invites me in each moment of each day to give it ALL to Him. He will make my life something beautiful giving Glory to His Name.
This is all that the Lord asks of you today – do what is right, love mercy and walk humbly with God! That is it. Nothing more or less. God is not a man who lies or changes His Expectations of us. We are the ones who heap on the burdens that make us tired.
Hebrews 12:12-14 (NLT)
So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees. Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong. Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
Are you tired today? It really doesn’t matter what brought you to this place but what you leave with that makes all the difference. God knows how you feel. He examined your heart the moment you sought Him. He knows what you need to be strong today and gladly offers it in exchange for every burden you have written on your heart. The Lord assures us today that He has it all under control if we will only give Him control of every facet of our life. The thing that is draining us of power and personal strength is the area we have kept for ourselves. To surrender it in total weakness allows us to access all of His Strength and Power. Righteousness is not something we do but something He makes us. We simply follow Him. We purpose every moment in loving Him with total abandon and complete surrender to find the strength we need to make it through each day. God doesn’t just accept our worries, cares and weaknesses. He gives us His Power for them. Are you tired today? You don’t have to be. Mark out your path today. Decide that you are not giving in to the lie that we need to do anything other than surrender our way to Christ. We will not fall into faith but be carried by it. Strengthen your tired hands and weak knees but gripping tighter to that confident hope found in the Lord. Work at living at peace with everyone. Work at living a holy life. Let God do the rest! He has promised us a life of strength and power without fear of falling – it’s time we take hold of it in the Name of Jesus!
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT)
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”