At 6:15 a.m. one of my nieces or nephews jumped on the couch heroically rescuing me from a restful night’s sleep. Three hours later all four young nieces and nephews were still going strong, running here and there busy building and destroying, playing and pretending, and graciously demanding the full attention of (I’d like to think) their favorite aunt.
It was at this point in the morning that I began to seriously doubt the verse above: “Even youth will faint and be weary…” However, after we somehow prepared and ate lunch something short of miraculous happened. The youngest two dropped down mid stride and fell asleep. I’m not sure which part I envy the most. The ability to sleep so soundly or the high energy with which they engage their world.
There are whole industries committed to sleep and to energy. Look around and see all the advertisements for sleep aids, miracle mattresses and pillows, etc. Then there are all the energy drinks and products. Some of these products and medicine work better than others, some are necessary while others are not. Needless to say, though, there is a market and need for rest and for energy.
Isaiah 40:3 was written thousands of years ago. It uses this age old envy of youthful exuberance and rest to reveal something about God. I am not going to say that everyone should give up coffee because God will give you energy or that if you just trust in Jesus you will sleep like a baby. I don’t think the Bible is selling God as a sleep aid or energy drink.
Rather, God is the one who does not grow faint or weary. You and I will, even those seemingly inexhaustible nieces and nephews of mine will eventually fall exhausted. God does not. God’s strength and vigor; God’s creative energy, patience, passion, love … will not dry up or end. God is the most restful, peaceful source of wholeness and fullness. God is wise and deep while being youthful and alive and cracking with energy.
“Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted,” but God does not. When you are exhausted and stretched so thin that you are beginning to fray, God will be your strength and rest. God will hold you up and together. You may not be suddenly infused with super power energy or dreamless sleep, but God will see you through. You don’t have to be strong all the time, you don’t have to have it all together, and you don’t need be at peace, wise and kind and gracious all the time. God sees and knows. With God you can just be you -whatever that you may be.