Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord,
and my right is disregarded by my God”?
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
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. Isaiah 40:27-31 ESV
We have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. Colossians 1:9b-12 ESV
A marathon is a long-distance running event, and it is 26 miles and 385 yards, or 42.195 kilometers, long. That’s a long way to run, and it takes most people more than three or four hours to do that. When people run marathons they need to take quick breaks to drink water and also to eat something, or they will run out of energy and not be able to keep running. There are water stations along the way to give runners water or an energy drink, and most runners also have a high energy gel or maybe some other kind of snack to eat along the way. Having water and food to eat and drink while they are running makes them able to keep on going and finish the race. If someone tried to run a marathon without eating or drinking anything, he or she would probably collapse before the race was over.
The prophet Isaiah talked about God’s people feeling as if the Lord didn’t know or care what was happening to them. They thought that God wasn’t helping them because he was tired of them and wasn’t able to do anything for them anymore. But this was a foolish way to think. Isaiah reminded the people that God is forever. He is the creator of the whole world, and he never gets tired. It was the people who were tired and losing strength, and that was because they were trying to go their way without any power from God. Isaiah reminded the people that waiting for the Lord would give them the strength to keep going. They would be able to run and walk without getting tired or fainting, and even to fly like eagles! This is a picture of having the strength to keep living life and following in God’s way without giving up. The people couldn’t do this by themselves, but they needed God’s strength.
We also need God’s strength to follow his way in our life. The Lord gives us his strength through his word, the Bible. Taking time to read God’s word, or to listen to someone else read us the Bible, is like having food and water to keep going on our way through life. But so often we try to do things ourselves without God’s help or power. When we do that, we tire ourselves out and give up on doing things God’s way. Jesus came to die for us so that we can be forgiven for all the times we try to go our own way. He sends us his Holy Spirit, who stays with us every day and helps and strengthens us through his word.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us strength through your word. Please help us to follow your ways, now and always. In Jesus Name, Amen.