Summary: How faith, hope and trust can help us when we’re life wears us out
Words to the Weary
During a recent Sunday worship service, a congregation was singing the worship chorus that goes: "I exalt thee, oh Lord...” A mother of a 5-year-old girl glanced down and realized that her daughter was fervently singing, "I’m exhausted, oh Lord ..."
Barbara Brown Taylor – being exhausted
I do not mean to make an idol of health, but it does seem to me that at least some of us have made an idol of exhaustion. The only time we know we have done enough is when we are running on empty and when the ones we love most are the ones we see the least. When we lie down to sleep at night, we offer our full appointment calendars to God in lieu of prayer, believing that God—who is as busy as we are—will surely understand.
Hard work makes us tired, but not weary. We often say we feel a “good tired” – the kind of tired that comes from physical work. That kind of tired goes away after a good night’s sleep.
That’s not “weariness”
Weariness is an ailment of the SOUL not of the body.
Causes of Weariness
Threat of war (terrorism)
Weariness is feeling like life has drained out of us.
Four of these 5 vss tell us something about weariness (not in this order)
The strongest of people DO get weary and tired
40:30 Even those who are young grow weak; young people can fall exhausted. The word translated in the Good News as “young people” is often used to refer to top-notch military men. Not military strategists who sat at home with maps. Not even just "everyday soldiers" -- But the tough guys – the Army Rangers, the Green Berets, the Navy Seals. They were the heroes, legends. When they walked by, people’s eye’s would get really big and they’d whisper, “He’s the guy that took out 50 of the enemy with his bare hands…”
But you know what? They still get weary
Because they’re as human as we are
Even the strongest and bravest of humans sometimes get weary.
The second thing we learn is that, even though the strongest of humans gets weary, God never gets weary
Sometimes we imagine that he does
Maybe not so much that he gets weary like, “Boy has this been a LONG day! I need a NAP!”
But how often I’ve heard (or even thought myself) – “Doesn’t God get SICK of me? Doesn’t he get TIRED of listening to me? I get sick and tired of me, surely God MUST, too!”
But God does not get weary; He does NOT get tired of hearing us. (Of course – if YOU get bored by your own prayers, it’s probably time to take stock of why that is!) God is always eager to hear the prayers of His children. Amazing as that may be, it’s true.
Third thing we learn, is that God gives [his] strength to those who are weary.
When we are at the end of our strength, the end of our rope, God offers us strength. Amazingly, it’s often not worth it to us! We keep running around, trying to fill our empty aching hearts and spirits, when God is offering us exactly what we need.
Quick review: we’ve learned 3 of 4 things this passage tells us about weariness:
ALL people get weary
God NEVER gets weary
God offers STRENGTH to the weary
The FOURTH thing this passage tells us is HOW we can receive that strength, that renewing, that LIFE that we so desperately need.
Good News 40:31 But those who trust in the Lord for help will find their strength renewed.
We’re more used to hearing this verse in the King James:
KJV Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength;
NIV Isaiah 40:31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength
So we’ve got THREE words here: TRUST, WAIT, & HOPE
Which are we supposed to do? I mean, we only want to do ONE, because we’re already WEARY!!! We don’t want extra work here! The word used in Hebrew means “to wait” and “to hope.” WAITING & HOPING seemed like a funny combination to me. And then the Good News throw in the idea of “trusting” – although that’s not one of the meanings of this word at all – but the more I thought about these things, the more sense it made.
Let’s see if I can make it make sense to you, too.
I frequently order things online. It’s convenient, I can shop at odd hours, I can comparison shop, and I can find things that might be difficult to find in this area.
The other thing I like about ordering things – maybe the thing I like BEST – is that it means I’ll get fun things in the mail!