For some reason, I always interpreted this literally. I thought of it as speaking of physical strength, but today as I sought the Lord for encouragement regarding a situation close to my heart, He opened my eyes to a new facet of this verse.
“Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted, but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not grow weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:30-31
This verse, it’s about HOPE. It refers to “they who wait.” And people only wait for that which they are hoping for…
Today, I saw that this certain hope of my heart is a marathon. I’ve never run a marathon, but I do know that it is something that takes GREAT training and endurance. Sometimes things we hope for are quick sprints, but I’ve come to see that most hopes are marathons. This waiting, hoping, believing for whatever it may be in this season for you, it may be a marathon. It is these marathons that train us to be spiritually robust and endure even the most difficult trials.
God speaks of youths who will grow weary and faint. Why youths? Youths have great reason to hope. They have their whole life ahead of them, full of possibilities and opportunities. But God says that even THEY will grow weary and faint in the waiting time. They will perhaps take control and try to get what they were meant to wait on God for.
But if we will just continue to wait in faith and hope, God promises to strengthen us and give us the ability to continue on in new power and ease.
He says that He will give us wings to soar. This I see as the seasons where waiting is easy. Sight of the future is visible and clear. The Lord gives us glimpses of the path we are to take and we are able to hope with such carefree ease. This are crucial seasons if the hope is to carry on at all. These seasons are God’s grace to us. They set up a firm, clear foundation.
He tells us next that in seasons where the full path is not so clear we will have to run, but He will not let us get tired. We will have a steady hum of energy to continue on in hope. We have seen the path, we have heard His voice. We can power through doubts or discouragements, having a foundation of trust in Adonai.
Then there are seasons where all we can do is to keep one foot moving in front of the other. These are the seasons where waiting has taken its toll. Waiting becomes heavy and at times seemingly illogical. Where are we even going? Why am I even spending all this energy? Our spirit may grow discouraged or simply just impatiently tired of hoping. But if we will continue on, Adonai promises to not let us faint. He won’t let us bow out of the race. Even in our weakest moments, He promises to give us the strength to at the very least KEEP GOING. Our pace may be at its slowest, but if we will just press on, He won’t let us fall.
These marathons of waiting are ones, where if we will not lose hope or faith in His goodness and faithfulness to us, we cannot lose.
If we will but seek Him in times of discouragement or wavering, He promises in Isaiah 40:29, to give “power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength.”
Let’s wait on the Lord. Let’s not give up! He will give you the continual strength we need to finish each “hope race.” But we must seek Him. He is faithful to do as He has said and continues to say, “Press on!”
I don’t want to quit. I don’t want to tap out. I want to run this race well to the very finish. Don’t let the enemy tell us lies or distract us from the end goal. We know our Savior is there at the finish line, excited and ready to give us the rich reward of finishing the race. Even if it takes everything in you to keep going, keep going. He will catch you as you cross the finish line. He is faithful!!
“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” Psalm 33:20
“I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5