By Shelby Maznio
“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.”
I’ve always had an interest in this Isaiah passage. I heard it a lot growing up and a few months ago I was reintroduced to it when I was sitting in a movie theater. The opening monologue of Hacksaw Ridge is this passage, and it was like hearing it for the first time. I felt the goosebumps on my arms and the tears started to well up. I sat there watching a movie for the next two hours that exhibited just how much God can do through someone who asks Him for strength.
Ever since I walked out of that theater, these words have been resting on my heart. I am a typical stressed, sleep deprived college student worried about jobs and responsibilities, tired and weary. I sometimes find myself unable to sleep because I cannot stop thinking of everything I need to do but have no strength for. I get discouraged more often than not and have had my fair share of sitting on the floor and crying because I feel like I do not know what to do and just want to give up.Yet no matter how hard I cry or how long I lay awake in bed, I always come back to His words: “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.”
My God will never tire or run out of strength. I can take every bit of stress and weariness in my life to Him, and He will renew my strength. He can calm my heart so I can sleep and provide answers to my troubles. I can ask God to renew my strength, and He hears me.
That’s the catch, though. I have to ask Him. I can complain all I want and wish He would give me strength, but am I really pursuing Him and passionate for the work He could do through me? I watched as Desmond Doss (Hacksaw Ridge) began to feel despair and lose hope as he tried to save men from the hellfire of war. I saw a man desperately wishing God would do something but nothing happened. It wasn’t until he cried out to God, begging Him to tell him what to do, and God showed him the way and gave him strength. Desmond invited God into his life and He worked miracles I cannot begin to fathom.
My miracles are nowhere near what happened with Desmond, but the moment I offer my weakness and troubles to God, I feel renewed. I know no matter how much I think I can handle something alone by depending on my own strength, I often feel weak; but these weak moments are really just opportunities to for me to ask for and experience my strength being renewed by Him.
Thanks Shelby for sharing this! It’s good news to know that the One who loves to care for his children by renewing their daily strength, is also renewing all things. “For all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17) As you encouraged us Shelby, may we ask the One who is strong on our behalf to renew our strength.