Do you not know? Have you not heard?
Read Isaiah 40:28-31: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 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, they will walk and not be faint.” (New International Version (NIV).
Those verses are favorites of many people, or at least the last verse is with its image of soaring like an eagle.
I also have found these verses inspiring over the years, though there have been times when I started reading these verses with Isaiah asking that question, “Have you not heard?” and thought to myself “heard what?”
Isaiah moves on to talking about God as the Creator of the earth and, of course, I’ve heard that many times. I’ve been hearing that since I was a child: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…” That’s a beginning Sunday school lesson as well as Apostle’s Creed 101.
I’ve always been convinced Isaiah wants us to hear something more than that. The key word here seems to be “weary.”
I am sure you’d agree that we all grow weary from time to time. Weary is also a strong word, one that says much more than “I am tired.”
Most, if not all, of us have experienced weariness during this past pandemic year. Isaiah says everyone grows weary at some point, no matter your age. Isaiah is trying to make us aware that any and all human beings can become weary.
This passage in Isaiah also contains one of those great “But God…” promises that are sprinkled throughout the Bible and are treasures to hold on to. “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” And the reason is that God does not grow weary! Ever!
According to Isaiah, to wait for the Lord is to look up in awe and remember the expansive power and might of the one who created you. To wait for the Lord is to find your small place in God’s vast universe of mystery and wonder and know that God is still there with you.
God numbers you. God calls you by name. To wait for the Lord is to be brought to your knees by the knowledge deep within that the only thing greater than the vast reach of the One who stretches the heavens like the canvas of an artist is the vast wonder of God’s love and care…. for you.
To wait for the Lord is to cling to the very beauty of God and the promise that the Lord does not faint or grow weary.
Isaiah wants us to know for sure – “Have you not heard?” – that God does not faint or grow weary in God’s care for you … in God’s presence with you … in God’s love for you.
Now you know and now you have heard! God does not grow weary, and those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. May you hold on to that promise even as God holds on to you!