“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength.”(Isaiah 40:31)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. My church is full of children between the ages of 2 and 8. You can see and hear them squirming throughout the Divine Service. As soon as the organist begins to play the postlude, the children burst out of their pews. For the next hour they will run, jump, and shout. Often the elderly say that they miss having that kind of energy.
“Even youths shall faint and be weary,” (Isaiah 40:30 ESV). Yes, even the energy of children has a limit. For example, my three-year-old daughter is full of energy, but lays limp and silent on the couch whenever she gets sick. The fever saps her of her strength and she becomes faint.
Isaiah says that God is not like human beings. He never grows faint, never grows tired, and never becomes weak. The nation of Judah was stripped of her power by Babylon, and the Israelites felt weary and burdened while laboring in Babylon. They were helpless, but thankfully Yahweh is their Helper. He has unlimited power and strength, which He will use to strengthen and empower His people (Isaiah 40:28-29).
Of course, this will happen in God’s own time. The Israelites must wait, but Isaiah promises that those who wait on the Lord will be renewed!
We are like the Israelites. We live in Babylon (i.e. the world). The temptations, the persecution, the diseases, and death make us weary and faint. We know that Jesus will rescue us. He laid down His life for us, after all. He won’t abandon us. We know that He will return…eventually. Still, it is hard to wait, isn’t it?
The Word, the Sacrament, the prayers and presence of fellow believers, and the liturgy help us to wait. They are given to encourage us with the Lord’s promises. We are reminded to wait for the Lord, for He will come back and fill us with His own strength. He will make our bodies immortal and our hearts immovable. Sin and death will never make us weary or faint again! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
O God, by the patient endurance of Your only-begotten Son You beat down the pride of the old enemy. Help us to treasure rightly in our hearts what our Lord has born for our sakes that, after His example, we may bear with patience those things that are adverse to us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Patience, LSB p. 312)