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.
Isaiah 40:28-31 (NIV)
Read: Isaiah 40
Consider: If you have ever been on a motorway in the United Kingdom you will probably have seen the sign which says ‘Tiredness Kills!’
I was thinking about this within the context of life in general and the Christian life in particular. It is generally easy to spot the negative effects of tiredness on a person’s work life, whether at home or in business. Stress levels tend to rise as a person is not able to cope with the demands placed upon them. As a result many businesses have invested heavily in putting in place mechanisms to support their staff who show the negative effects of stress.
If we can see and deal with the negative effects of tiredness and stress in business, why is it that we are often unwilling to deal with it effectively in the church. Church leaders can often be so work focused that they neglect other aspects of life (e.g. home life). They might also be ‘workaholics’, who not only expect it of themselves, but also those around them. Unfortunately the effects of overwork are predictable and often lead to ‘burn out’ or ‘break down’. This may become evident in such things as loss of motivation, enthusiasm and commitment. In the church we must be willing to deal with this in church leaders, but also in members of the congregation.
Whoever is affected and whatever the reason, the church must be willing to deal with it. Looking at the verses quoted above from Isaiah 40 it is clear that while we can become tired and weary (even of doing God’s work), God himself will not grown tired or weary. I like what it says in these verses: ‘Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall’. Did you notice the word ‘even’? What this means is that everyone, regardless of age, can become tired and weary, and need refreshment and renewal.
So where is this refreshment and renewal to be found? We are told in these verses that they are to be found in the Lord: ‘… 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’.
So if one of your church leaders, a member of the congregation or even yourself is tired and showing signs of stress, it is important that they (or you) refocus on God. Refreshment and renewal is available from him and he will renew their strength.
Pray: Father, help us to recognise the effects of tiredness and stress in our church leaders and members. May we see that refreshment and renewal is only to be found in you. Amen