“Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:”
– Isaiah 40:30
I have learned SO MUCH about who God is just in this chapter. Verse 28 especially describes the power, endurance, and energy of our Creator. This all sounds so good and it is, but I don’t think we can properly know God in this way unless we understand who we are, and that is what verse 30 is about. Who am I?
I tend to think of myself as a strong, healthy young man. I’m in my mid-twenties and have always been athletic. I also consider myself to be mentally strong and healthy. In other words I’m probably a pretty good description of who Isaiah 40:30 is talking about. After my own strength peaks, I will get weaker physically and mentally as I continue to age. All of us know people who are having health problems, and I’m sure some of you are experiencing health problems as well. If we are strong and healthy (and young), it is easy for us (especially guys) to think that we can do anything. But no matter how much strength, energy, or endurance we have, we will always faint and become weary.
God created us to need Him. Without Him, we faint and are weary and we fall. Sometimes we get tired when resisting temptation and we lower our guard and fall to temptation. Sometimes it feels like we’re on a treadmill going faster and faster but not going anywhere so we quit. Sometimes we get so busy even with good things that our lack of physical energy affects our attitudes and emotions. Short mission trips often entail long days and short nights. It is easy to become cranky and lose patience quickly.
One of the best things we can do to increase and maintain strength and energy is to drink a proper amount of water. Most people drink far less water than what is recommended by doctors and dietitians. Water is an incredible thing! While pure water has zero nutrients, it absorbs and transports necessary nutrients to every cell in our bodies. Our bodies can have all the nutrients we need to maintain strong, healthy bodies, but without water, those nutrients are a lot like potential energy (compared to kinetic energy). Let me briefly explain potential versus kinetic energy. An example of potential energy is a 100 pound weight suspended 10 feet in the air. It is not moving, but it has the potential to move downward when released, and I would not want to be standing under it when is does fall! As the weight falls, the potential energy turns into kinetic energy by the weight falling faster and faster because of gravity. Kinetic energy entails motion but potential energy does not. Without water, nutrients in our bodies are like potential energy – it’s there but not doing anything. However, the presence of water makes use of those nutrients which gives us physical energy to go through each day.
The Lord is kind of like water and His Word like necessary nutrients. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” Bread often represents basic nutrition and sustenance. Jesus is also living water. He is our strength and our energy continually at work in us! He gives us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow, but without Him we can do nothing. When I am tired, worn out, or busy, where do I look for strength?
I realize that I often fail to recognize Christ as the only source of strength even for daily routines like getting dressed, eating food, and walking to my truck. No matter what any of us are doing God is the One who gives us the ability to do it. This is something we share in common with everyone. Therefore, we can identify with everyone when they are weary, and that gives us the opportunity to encourage them to look to the Lord for rest and strength instead of looking to themselves or even throwing in the towel. I have to admit I haven’t been very good about pointing others to Christ as the only source of strength, and as an engineering student, I know many people who are faint and weary.
I am challenged to look to the Lord all of the time because I see myself in this verse: Even I faint and am weary, and I utterly fall. Tomorrow we will take a look at the last verse, but before reading it, re-read verses 28 and 30 and notice the difference between God’s nature and your nature…