daily devotional

Isaiah 40:31 – “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.”

Several years ago I was on about mile 20 of a marathon in Joplin, MO and we passed a church that was holding their worship service outside. Members of their congregation were holding signs to cheer on the runners. As I ran by one sign caught my eye and it said “you will run and not grow weary.” I burst out in tears.

Okay, so I need to explain. I’m a crier. I don’t typically cry when I’m sad or angry, but rather when I’m happy. I will burst out in happy tears. I’m also a sympathy crier. I don’t even need to know you or know what you’re crying about, but I’ll cry with you. But I’m primarily a spiritual crier. I rarely make it through an entire church service without tears. Worship music gets me. Prayer gets me. 7 years ago when God instructed me to start hosting a live morning devotional call my first response was “God, you know me – you know I can’t quote a single scripture without crying. I can’t pray in front of people without crying. This will be a huge mess.” And he said, yes. So cry your way through it and I will strengthen you as you go.

I’m here to tell you that very first live devotional I hosted last a whole 5 minutes and I was choked up the entire time. But still for some reason God chose this crier to be strengthened so I could show up every day and help put a pep in your step.

Now, back to the story. I’m running. Mile 20. Church is on the side of the road with a worship service. Man holding a sign that says “you will run and not grow weary”. Me, burst into tears. Because you see, I was tired. My legs felt like they couldn’t keep going. Lord, my hope is in you, please renew my strength because I’m not sure how much longer I can keep running.

Now, trying to run when you’re exhausted, hot, sweaty, and emotional … whew, that equals hyperventilation. Not a combination I recommend. But it’s exactly what I needed.

You see, I FELT weary. That was my truth. I felt it for sure. But I didn’t have to GROW WEARY. I didn’t have to let that tiredness seep into my mind and my soul.

Maybe you feel weary too. It’s the final week of January. Maybe things have been a little harder than you anticipated. Those big goals you wrote three weeks ago have gone untouched and at this point are pretty much impossible. What’s a girl to do when she feels weary?

Answer – stop paying so much attention to how you FEEL.

Those feelings will get you in trouble. Your feelings will talk you out of doing the very things you know you need to do. Your feelings will seep into your every thought and then right into your spirit and guess what, then you will GROW weary. You don’t want to grow that. Imagine a crop growing in a field, multiplying and producing. Are you a worry farmer? Are you a sadness farmer? Are you a “worst case scenario” farmer? Are you a “tired and exhausted” farmer? You’re growing that! That means it will multiply in your life. If you’re growing weary, before you know it you won’t feel like doing a darn thing. Now that’s a dangerous place to be.

So, you may feel weary, but you don’t have to grow weary.

Now, let me point out this scripture says you will run and not grow weary. YOU WILL RUN. This means you still gotta show up. You still have work to do. God’s not gonna run for you. You still have running to do. Maybe literally and maybe not. But you have things you need to be doing. What are those things you need to do today? No one else is going to show up and do it for you. Run your own race. You. And as you show up and do what you need to do and refuse to give in to all the feelings that tell you you’re too tired and too busy, God will protect you from growing weary. Laying in bed you grow weary. THINKING about what needs to be done you grow weary. Taking action actually feels pretty darn good!

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. Renew it. You know what that means? That means they will use it all up first. First they use the strength they have, then God will renew it. If you don’t use it, how’s God gonna renew it? You’re trying to show up and live this day of life on 5 day old strength that you never used when you were supposed to in the first place. If you will use all the strength you have today to live as well as you possibly can, God will renew your strength. You will run and not grow weary. You will walk and not faint.

What will you grow today? Will you grow stronger? Will you grow hope? Will you grow faith? Will you grow happiness? That’s a crop you can be proud of! Yes, grow that!