From the President

“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

When was the last time you felt absolutely exhausted? When you felt like what my Grandma called being “bone tired”? All of us have hit the wall at various times in our lives.

Maybe it was caused by physical exertion. Maybe you went to Beyond Malibu or spent a week hiking in our Wilderness Ranch program. You couldn’t believe how tired you felt and yet you still had more climbing to do. Perhaps it’s a relational problem. Despite your best efforts, your rebellious child has done it again. Or your marriage feels like “all work and no play.”

Or it’s a health issue. A deeply spiritual friend battling cancer said for the first time in his life he was just too tired to read or pray or worship. He didn’t have the energy to do anything he loved! Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember God cares and can do something about our weariness. In Isaiah 40:28-31 (quoted above), the prophet is speaking words of comfort to God’s people living in exile. What does he say?

  • The everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, is different from us. I loved the line in the film Rudy, where the priest says to Rudy, “Son, in 35 years of religious study, I have only come up with two hard incontrovertible facts: there is a God, and I’m not Him.” God is different from us. He does not grow tired or weary. He is unfathomable. And He has the ability to do something absolutely amazing: He can and will give us strength and power when we have hit the wall.
  • None of us is immune. Even youth get tired and young men at the height of their physical prowess stumble and fall. We are all frail, only a short step away from total exhaustion.
  • But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. When we come to the Lord, we will soar; we will run and not grow weary; we will walk and not faint.

How do we renew our strength? By realizing it’s the Lord who is the source of what we need. We come to Him. We don’t just put on a good front by smiling when on the inside we’re crying over our overwhelming weariness. We acknowledge He’s our hope and sustenance. We admit our fatigue; we ask Him to renew our bodies and our minds. And He does.

It’s interesting that I wrote this when I was feeling absolutely fatigued. I returned from an extended international trip and felt like I was doing extremely well. But about five days later, something happened and I felt EXHAUSTED. In the midst of my weariness, I tried to practice what Isaiah was preaching: I came to the Lord and asked Him to renew and sustain me. Did I try to get more sleep, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthily and adjust my schedule where I could? Yes. But I again realized the Lord was my hope; He is the true source of any strength and vitality I might have. When I came to God, did I feel like running a marathon? Not quite. But I did have a sense of confidence that He was doing what He had promised. My hope is in the Lord and for that I am thankful.​