Focus Scripture: Isaiah 40:31
Isaiah 40:29-31: He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
Title: I am T.I.R.E.D.
Good morning! Let us pray “Father,I pray that I decrease as You increase. Allow your word to reach each of your people and that the power of the Holy Spirit will bring the text to life. Seal your word on your people’s hearts. Also, Lord, we know that you are the God of all comfort. Please comfort those in our midst that may be missing their mother on this Mothers’ Day. Soothe the pain of their loss and surround them in Your loving presence in a tangible way. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.”
Towards the end of my grandmother’s life she developed a catch phrase of sorts. See when you are over the age of 85 you can say or do whatever you want. It’s like the gray hair provides you a type of “social graces visa” that exempts you from being politically correct. In my grandmother’s case she used her special access visa to announce when she was ready to leave an event. Without fail she would look around the room, get a little restless, look a bit vexed and then announce in a clear, crisp voice, “I’M TIRED!!! Sh$$!”. Then she would get up, start gathering her things and go towards the exit. This subtle message was never lost on family and friends. We knew when the pronouncement came that Ms. Lillian was tired she was ready to go home and sleep. Party Done.
Being physically tired is something that everyone can relate to. We know the signs. Our eyes get heavy, concentration begins to drift, yawns become more and more frequent until finally we are able to lay our bodies down to go to sleep and refresh ourselves. Have you noticed that more and more people are complaining about being tired. Apparently since the onset of COVID there is a condition called “Covid Fatigue” It’s a type of mental fog that can whose root can be found in the stress and trauma of the past year. Think about all the stress we’ve been under. Even everyday tasks have a new level of anxiety attached to them. Gone are the days when you could run out to the store for a quick errand, enjoy a potluck, go to school regularly, or even sneeze in public. Side note: I have seasonal allergies and the other day I could feel a sneezing fit about to hit me. I was afraid to sneeze in mixed company in public! If the people around me are anything like me I would have been sprayed with Microban and bathed with Purrell before I could say “ALLERGIES” We have stressors caused by the added layer of responsibility of remembering to mask up, making sure we always have a steady supply of masks, avoiding people who don’t wear their masks properly, do we return to inside restaurant dining or not, should we send our children back to school or not, is it safe to return to the office, will we be forced to return to the office? All this added stress in our lives can wear us out over time. It can sap your strength when you have to juggle so many new variables in a life that was already packed to capacity pre-pandemic.
In addition over the last year and a half we have been challenged on many levels as a nation. It feels like in each of these 15 months we’ve had a decade’s worth of challenges to overcome - - elections filled with turmoil and strife, impeachments, an insurrection, a pandemic, a crisis in education, multiple mass shootings, racial justice reckonings, radical unemployment, a housing and food crisis all accompanied by six figured death counts.
But on a more intimate level in our immediate body we have had to experience loss, sickness, grief, and injury all while enduring an extended separation from one another’s presence. All of these factors combined together have the ability to leave a person emotionally and spiritually weak. This feeling of weakness brings us to the book of Isaiah this morning.
In Isaiah Chapter 40 verse 30 it states, “Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall”. But in verse 31 comes the promise to overcoming this weariness, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” So today I want to walk you through some steps we can all take to revive us in this season in the form of an Acronym – T.I.R.E.D.
T – Try God: When we get tired and run down it is easy to lose perspective on who God is and the vastness of His power. In verses 25 to 26 of Chapter 40 of Isaiah it states, ““To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. 26 Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.” There is an expression that goes “Try God, don’t try me.” Now, this is taken wildly out of context; however, there is truth in this axiom. When you are run down and worn out; when you have come to the end of your own strength. And you feel like you don’t have anything left in you to give remember to “Try God” His strength is never failing, He is consistent and He keeps His promises. Try God! Humans will always fall short but God….Try him yourself.
I – Inspired: The burdens and stresses of life can leave you feeling depleted and uninspired. However, I want to challenge you with a quote I heard in a class I took, “You’re not tired. You just need to be inspired”.
But where do you find your inspiration when you feel weak, stressed, and worn out? Let me show you an example. I have a small book called “Power Promises and Prayers” In it there are topics that provide scriptural support, a brief mediation, and a prayer to seal it. When I feel tired and spiritually depleted, I go to this book to look for some immediate inspiration. I am reminded of God’s promises. I also keep “inspiration boards” to provide me with a visual that I can focus on. On this board are cards and notes I’ve received from friends, motivational quotes, bible verses and images that remind me of happy memories. Now, I realize this is a lot and in no way am I telling you “do it this way”. But find your inspiration in the Word of God, find your inspiration in the promises of God, whatever brings your focus back to the Lord, use that for your inspiration. Find the medium that will inspire you to continue to believe, to continue to have faith and to follow the instructions given in Hebrews 12:1, to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us”
R – Renewed: In Isaiah 40:31 it states; “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” The word “renew” literally means “exchange”. The weakness and tiredness that you give to God will be exchanged for strength. Beauty for your ashes. Here’s an example - - imagine you are going to trade in your car. This is a car that you’ve had for years. It’s got over 100 thousand miles, the air conditioner doesn’t work anymore. You have to let it warm up in the winter for about 15 minutes before you drive it anywhere and the “get up and go” that the engine used to have “got up and went”.
Now, you bring that car to the dealership where you have a hook up. Your friend guaranteed you that if you bring what you currently have as a trade in you can drive away in a brand new car. Now you pull out of the dealership in a brand new car with a v-8 engine, and all the fancy features you need to get you through these miles in style, grace and comfort. If you can hope in God, trust in Him, look expectantly to Him he will exchange your tiredness, your weakness for strength and you will be renewed. You will find that grace for the journey and peace for your mind. Matthew 11:28 states, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”. Allow your strength and spirit to be renewed.
E – Empowered: When you are feeling tired and worn out remember that God has empowered you! The second half of Isaiah 40:31 states that “they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” There is a common analogy about eagle’s wings but it bears repeating. A bald eagle’s wings are broad and flat. Their wingspan is incredibly long (up to seven feet). This enables them to fly at higher attitudes than sparrows or pigeons. So when storm clouds roll in smaller birds take cover in bushes or trees. They can’t soar to the higher altitudes. However, eagles are able to fly into the turbulence, ride the wind currents that empower them to fly above storm into clear skies.
In Isaiah 41:10 it states “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” or Philippians 4:13, “3 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
D – Dedicated: There is an expression that goes “Dedication will carry you when motivation leaves you.” As we continue to maneuver through our circumstances and the variables keep shifting there is a temptation to throw our hands in the air and say “I’m done! I Quit!” But Galatians 6:9 encourages us to “9 Let’s not become discouraged in doing good, for in due time we will reap, if we do not become weary.” Don’t let your dedication slip.
Think about it another way - - most diets fail why? Because there comes a point when the weight loss stops and you have to go through that plateau period. When nothing moves. In fact the scale might creep up a bit. The temptation is to throw up your hands, throw away the steamed vegetables and reach for the quarantine snacks. However, The bible states in I Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Even when we don’t see the Lord moving, even when our circumstances don’t immediately change. Stay faithful to Him who is able to keep you from falling. He has already renewed your strength. Now stand. And remain dedicated to the one who called you by your name.
In closing, as we continue to navigate our way through our new reality keep this in mind. If you feel yourself getting frustrated and overwhelmed with all that is going on. Change your narrative and remind yourself that you’re T.I.R.E.D.
“You Try God,