The apostles returned to Jesus [from their mission] and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd and he began to teach them many things.
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
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 be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.
Several of you told me that I didn’t turn my microphone off after the service yesterday. You could hear me say, “Ohhh, this is exhausting.” It is.
Every one of you knows what it’s like to be tired when the race has only begun. Perhaps many of you are feeling that same way now. We’re three weeks into this lockdown, and we have probably another four weeks to go—through the end of April at least.
You may not like me having reminded you of that. Sorry. But my philosophy is that it’s better to acknowledge what’s true and then to find the tools to deal with it. It’s better than pretending.
Indeed, this is at the heart of the gospel message. No one wants to admit that they’re a sinner. Or perhaps a man is willing to say something like that about himself in the abstract, and admit to a sin here or there. But to really confess what’s in your heart, to dig down deep and reveal what’s really there. No one wants to speak their sins aloud. But if we’re going to hear the good news of the gospel, we have to confess the bad news of sin first.
The bad news is that we’re tired of this; and the break is still some ways away in the future. The disciples in this account had just come back from a long mission traveling, healing, casting out demons. They were meant for a little vacation, meant to rest a while with Jesus. But the people were waiting for them when they got there, and they had to take up serving again, even though they were exhausted. They were tired, but the break was yet to come.
But the good news is that, even when our strength fails, the Lord’s does not. Even when we tire, he does not grow weary. More than that, his promise is that he will give us his strength if we will look to him for it. Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.
I know you’re tired of this. I know you wish that things could go back to normal already. I know that the suffering is mounting and the sense of helplessness is creeping in. If you look only to your own resources and you simply muster up what vigor you have, you will fall to it. Your strength will fail you. But if you wait upon the Lord, this is his promise: you will run and not be weary; you will walk and not faint.
Look to the Lord. He will sustain you.
Lord Jesus, it’s all too much for us. All of this is more than we can bear. And there is yet so much more to go. We wait on you, Lord. Renew our strength. Bring to us that peace which passes understanding. Rejuvenate our hearts and minds.
And come, Lord Jesus.