Have you ever been so tired that you felt like a walking zombie? That was how I felt for the entire week last week.
It probably wasn't the most tired I haver ever felt. I don't remember this, but I'm told that as a small child I once fell asleep and face planted in my raviolis, and that didn't even wake me up. I do remember falling asleep in a Sunday night church meeting as a teenager, and later being told that I snored. I can also remember at least a time or two when I fell asleep right in the middle of a sentence as an adult.
So all of this proves two very common realities about me. I sometimes get tired, extremely tired. And I do not stay that way. With rest and refreshment comes renewal. These stories I remember from my youth would hardly seem so novel if they happened all of the time. I think that's true of most of us.
We all have these periods where we feel worn down to the bone, maybe even like we have no strength to carry on. And then God renews us. Looking back on those times, we have no idea how we made it, except perhaps for the understanding that God carried us when we couldn't walk.
Isaiah 40:30-31 puts it this way:
"Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."
These words follow 39 chapters that describe a period of 70 years where the children of Israel, God's people, will be disciplined through military defeat, loss of their land, and forced migration into a foreign country. Even the eventual journey back home and rebuilding would be far from easy. It would be exhausting! Talk about a long period of weariness. But in the end God would restore the faithful, on both an individual level and as a nation.
The same is true of all of us who call Jesus Lord. We are bound to go through rough, exhausting periods. But even amidst the struggle we have hope for rest, both within and beyond this life. Even those of us who feel that this life is a constant uphill battle can experience and inner victory and peace if we claim it. And praise the Lord, we know that in Christ we look forward to and eternal and infinite renewal in Heaven when we meet our savior face to face. We won't just have the strength to walk. We'll soar!
If you are in a period where you feel like a walking zombie, take heart and look to God as your source for renewal. Lean into God's grace, and claim that hope that as we seek God in all things, God will never disappoint. The struggle is temporary, but the rewards are eternal.