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.
When I was in my early 20s, I jogged for exercise on a fairly regular basis. One day I thought I’d try to run a marathon. There wasn’t an official race. I just decided to see if I could run 26.2 miles.
I felt great for the first half of my solo marathon. By 15 miles I was getting pretty tired. Then, at 18 miles I “hit the wall,” as they say. In fact, I’m sure I was completely dehydrated, since I didn’t drink any fluids during my run. I stumbled along for the last 2 miles, about 6 miles short of my goal. I never again tried to run a marathon!
Even though I was young and in fairly decent shape, my strength was limited. I served as a perfect illustration of Isaiah 40:30: “Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion.” But that’s not the end of Isaiah’s thought. He contrasts the waning endurance of youth with the endless strength of those who trust in the Lord. The Hebrew verb translated here as trust carries the sense of “hope” or “waiting.” Isaiah’s point is that if we trust in God, even when God seems to delay, we will find strength to persevere in life, even to soar.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What exhausts you physically? emotionally? spiritually? Have you ever experienced the strength that comes from trusting in God? When? For what challenges in life do you need God’s strength today?
PRAYER: Thank you, gracious Lord, for the strength you give us. Thank you for helping us to have courage when we’re afraid, to be patient when we’re irritated, to be kind even when we’re mistreated. Thank you for empowering us to serve you in this world, gifting us through your Spirit. Thank you for helping us to endure suffering, to remain hopeful when people around us have been snared by cynicism.
Help me, dear Lord, to trust in you more each day. When you don’t do what I’d like, or when you don’t act according to my timetable, may I wait with patience and confidence. As I hope in you, may I receive the gift of your strength, so that I might keep on hoping, serving, and praying. Amen.