"Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength..." Isaiah 40:30-31
"I can't do this anymore..."
"What's the point of this..."
"I think it would be easier to just give up..."
These are the types of thoughts that mark seasons of weariness in our lives. Weariness is the state of physical, emotional, and spiritual depletion. It's a fatigue that extends to every facet of life and remains a reality that all Christians face. The prophet Isaiah meant to make this clear when he pictured the strongest, healthiest, highest capacity person he could and said even they grow weary.
The truth is, apart from God, creation is hard-wired for weariness.
But (there's so much power in a good conjunction), there is also a promise present in these verses. God has promised to renew our strength when we wait on Him. This promise of renewal does not mean the recharging, or refueling of our depleted strength. The word translated "renew" is a Hebrew word meaning "turn in, replace, or exchange." When we wait on God, He has promised to exchange our depleted strength with His own strength. He takes the old and gives us the new (if that's not a picture of the gospel, I don't know what is).
The waiting God invites us to is NOT watching the clock tick, wondering, and questioning whether or not God can or will give us this new strength. This kind of waiting is a confident expectation marked by depending on God completely and trusting God implicitly.
This is an active waiting and this waiting is the only way out of weariness.
When I'm walking through one of these seasons of weariness I have to choose to wait on God and let Him renew my strength, just as He's promised. I believe there are two primary avenues of grace God has given me to actively wait on Him. In seasons of weariness, I wait on God by:
1. Filling my heart and mind with the Word of God
2. Filling God's heart and mind with my prayer
Below is a list of resources I've found helpful, or that have been recommended to me by other men and women who have walked through these seasons as well. I pray you find them helpful and I'd invite you to actively wait on God with me.
Books Dealing with Weariness:
- "Spiritual Depression" by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
- "When I Don't Desire God" by John Piper
- "The Bruised Reed" by Richard Sibbes
- "A Lifting Up for the Downcast" by William Bridge
- "A Gospel Primer" by Milton Vincent
This post first appeared here on April 30, 2012.