In the second half of the text from Isaiah, again we hear these words on the prophet’s lips, “Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?” This time, however, Isaiah gets straight to the point for this weary and worn community. “The LORD is the everlasting God, the creator of the ends of the earth. He doesn’t grow tired or weary” (CEB).
Thank goodness, God does not grow weary with the world, with the church, or with us! I could easily talk at length about all of the happenings in the world right now that make me weary and sometimes angry. Poverty surrounds us in our cities, as well as our rural communities. The earth is groaning under the weight of our destructive actions. The quest for more stuff and busier lives leaves us isolated and creates frenzied chaos among us. I could go on, and I’m sure you could as well. And yet, “Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard?” God does not grow tired or weary.
Even when we have given up or we feel ourselves coming close to that point, the prophet reminds us that God is with us. God’s understanding is far greater than our capacity to fathom it. God gives power to the tired and revives the exhausted, according to the prophet. Just as it was for the community in exile in Isaiah’s time, this is good news for us today. We may be tired and weary, but our faith draws us into communion with God where we will inevitably encounter others who will also give us strength.
O God, when we are tired and discouraged, help us to remember that you don’t grow weary. Remind us once again that you are with us, offering us rest and the strength to go on. Amen.
What is the ultimate source of our strength? All the authors for this week come to the same conclusion: True strength comes from the Lord. Isaiah asks: “Who is like God?” God never grows weary and provides unfailing strength to those who wait for God. The psalmist praises God as the one who lifts up those who are beaten down. It is not those with human strength who are truly mighty but those empowered by God. In First Corinthians, Paul states that he has laid down any form of his own strength so that the gospel may advance. In Mark, Jesus heals many as a demonstration of his power over the physical world. Thus, God’s power is not just a metaphor but a reality.
Read Isaiah 40:21-31. In what ways do you call on God’s unfailing strength? How is that strength sustaining you?
Read Psalm 147:1-11, 20. How do you experience God’s provision in your life? What is your response to God?
Read 1 Corinthians 9:16-23. How are you living out God’s call to you? How has your call evolved over time?
Read Mark 1:29-39. Where is your “deserted place” where you spend time alone with God? What helps you maintain a discipline of spending time alone with God each day?
Respond by posting a prayer.
I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.”
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