by Jane Josephs
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” –Isaiah 40:29
Maybe it’s because the COVID-19 pandemic shows no sign of abating. Or it could be the depressing news cycle we’re in right now. But whatever the reason, the word weary keeps coming to my mind.
According to the dictionary, weary generally means to be physically tired or worn out. But for me the word has a component of mental as well as physical fatigue. When Paul exhorts the Galatians to “not become weary in doing good,” it must be because he senses his friends are going through some tough times. But then he includes this promise: “…for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).
For those health care workers on the front line in the fight with COVID, the harvest must surely be the patients who recover enough to go home. But I can’t begin to imagine how weary they must feel in the day after day battle against this virus.
Jesus linked being weary with being burdened when He spoke to the crowds throughout the towns of Galilee. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,” He offered before promising, “…and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).
Across the United States today we celebrate Labor Day, a day to pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. Why? Because work is good; it’s God-ordained. But weariness, that’s a different matter. Dare I say it happens when we forget the source of our strength?
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the prophet Isaiah speaks to our weariness with yet another promise from God: “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” Three promises, straight from the heart of God. I pray, dear friends, if you are feeling the least bit weary, that you will press hard into the strength and power God has for you. He won’t let you down!