“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:28-31
I’ve never been the best at finishing. Beginnings? Now those are much more my style. I’ll climb on the treadmill, determined to jog 3 miles, bobbing my head along to my running playlist, and everything is great. But by mile 2.7 I’m panting, weary, and busy convincing myself that 2.7 was plenty anyway.
I am not a good finisher, and that’s just the least of my weaknesses. It’s human nature – we’re sinful creatures who become increasingly aware of our flaws as time goes on. And the more you and I try to clean ourselves up and get ourselves together, the more glaring our imperfections become.
We can try to buck up and do better next time, to steel ourselves up for a harder fight, but what are you going to do when you mess up? That’s the question we all have to answer, and the question that finds a hopeful solution in Jesus.
Isaiah 40 tells us who to turn to when we are too consumed by our weakness to go on. Our frailty is not the end, because we have a God who does not grow tired or weary. We don’t have to have the answer to everything because His understanding is far greater than we can even fathom.
Do you see what this means? Because He is strong, we don’t have to strain ourselves trying to have it all together. Because He knows all, we can admit we don’t have all the answers. That is what gives us the stamina Isaiah talks about. We have to find it outside of ourselves, in the only one who renews our strength.
As Christians, we’re never promised an easy race through life, but we are promised a constant companion who will see us through.
When the trials come, and they will come, God doesn’t tell you to suck it up and try harder. He doesn’t even tell you to figure it out yourself. He says instead, “Rest in me, sweet daughter. Let me give you strength. Let me be your wisdom. Lean on me, because I love you and I am well pleased in you.” You and I can take a deep breath then, and give it all up to Jesus because He finished perfectly in our place.