Strength for the Weary

Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

For Reflection

I’m sure that today’s passage is very familiar to many of us. We have seen it printed on t-shirts and embroidered on pillows. It was even painted on the wall of my high school gym! We love the idea of soaring on wings like eagles. Who wouldn’t? It’s an exciting, even powerful thought. But did you catch the verses that come before this famous passage? The ones who get to soar on wings like eagles are not the strong—they are the weak. It is when we are weak and weary, tired and at the very end of our rope that God steps in and gives us His strength. We can run and not grow weary or walk and not be faint only through His power.

We were recently in Liberia chasing down a bunch of paperwork. We had been back and forth to different government agencies trying to collect all the documents we needed. But we kept hitting road block after road block. Each door we approached was slammed in our faces, and we were in desperate need of a miracle. After trying to do it our way (after exhausting all of our resources and power), we collapsed on the bed in our guesthouse one night and wept. There was nothing more we could do. And that’s when God showed up.

At the end of our rope, God stepped in and worked in a way that only He could. We marveled at His glory and His might! His power was truly miraculous in the face of our weakness, and as we watched Him clearing the path before us we knew that all honor was His. Yes, we soared, but only through His power.

It’s difficult to admit that we are weak and weary, that we are at the end of our own power. But it is truly a blessed place to be! God loves to meet us in our weakness—and when He does, He brings the strength of heaven with Him.

For Discussion

  1. Can you think of a time that you felt utterly exhausted, weak, and weary? Did God show up? How?
  2.  It’s hard to admit weakness, especially in our culture. What’s one way you can be an encouragement to someone? What’s one small way you can let them know that they don’t always have to be strong?


Father, you promise that there is strength in our sorrow and beauty in our tears. You are working in our waiting, finding ways to draw us closer to each other and closer to you. Help us to cling to you when we feel weak instead of relying on our own power. Help us to trust you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Dig Deeper

Read II Corinthians 12:1-10. This passage is about the “thorn” in Paul’s flesh. No one knows for sure what Paul suffered from, but we do know that this affliction drew him closer to God. He says, “For when I am weak, then I am strong!” This is so countercultural. Read the story as a family and talk about what it means to you!