Do you struggle with finding the energy you need to cope with the demands of the day? Not only do we seem to be living in an increasingly pressurised world, but perhaps like me, you reason that the ageing process plays a part: tiredness levels being commensurate with age. But I’ve been reading Isaiah 40 which culminates in the well known words, ‘They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint’ (Isaiah 40:31). It struck me that there is no mention that this promise is exclusive to the younger generation. In fact, the previous verse talks about the young becoming weak and tired, and even falling in exhaustion.
I thought back to a time when I was in utter overwhelm and a medical professional told me that I always set myself up to fail. He was right. I was entrenched in a life of striving to escape feelings of failure and guilt, and earn the approval of others, which meant continually putting impossible expectations on myself. I remembered the endless, exhausting ‘to do’ lists that I never did manage to tick off to the bottom of the page.
I am so grateful for the journey the Lord has brought me on, and that those days of driven-ness and self-recrimination are now a distant memory. Nevertheless, I am still learning. I think the condition attached to the promise that ‘He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless’ (Isaiah 40:29) is a challenge to us all. It’s a promise that’s not exclusive to the young, but its exclusivity is to ‘those who trust in the Lord’.
What does that mean? It means the practice of actively listening for the Lord’s voice. It means actively believing we will hear Him guiding us every day. As the Scripture says, ‘Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left’ (Isaiah 30:21). It means being obedient to His leading. And it means saying “No” when it’s not something He’s asking us to do, when it’s just something we think we should do, something to please someone else, something that seems easier, something that seems better, or something that makes more sense to us.
How often our Father God must long for us to stop in our tracks to listen to His Holy Spirit and to allow Him to whisper in our ear. Then He can lead and guide us to do the things He has for us, and not to do the things which are not for us. We put ourselves in a place where He can fulfil His promise. He, Himself, becomes our source of strength and energy. How different that is to feeling we have to take a deep breath and try to summon up our own energy to do things which He never asked us to do in the first place.
I heard an analogy that we can be like cars of the recent past which lacked the modern technology of power-assisted steering, were heavy, and took muscle-power and strength to manoeuvre. Or we can be like modern cars with power-assisted steering which turn effortlessly with the touch of a finger, if we trust the Holy Spirit to lead and guide and enable us. Then, however old or however young we are, in our service to the King of kings, we will ‘soar high on wings like eagles … we will run and not grow weary … we will walk and not faint.’
Prayer: Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways, drop thy still dews of quietness, till all our strivings cease; take from our souls the strain and stress, and let our ordered lives confess the beauty of thy peace. Amen.
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