Over and over in Scripture we see God responding to times of weariness in the life of His people. Sometimes we feel like God is unmoved by our circumstances—or maybe even unaware.
In Isaiah 40:29 God promises to give strength to the weary. That is His promise, but when will God come through? How do I access that strength? How will I survive until I do?
The last part of Isaiah 40 promises that those who wait on the Lord will walk and not faint. But what if I feel as if I’ve fainted already? What if I am overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion, and I’m just about ready to give up?
As you read this, you might find yourself prayed out, worshiped out, tired out, from your personal burden. Are you weary from some burden you carry on behalf your family—or even the burden of your own sin which you can’t whip—instead it has whipped you.
Do you have an exhausted, weary, languishing soul? Are You are worn out from exhaustion? Are you worn out from worry? Are you worn out from stress and struggle? Are you worn out from devotion because you prayed, and God is yet to come through? If so, consider God’s promise:
25 For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.” Jeremiah 31:25
The word languish means to melt or to pine away in extreme weakness or weariness. The word refresh is written in such a way in the original Hebrew which means it is an intensive superabundant refreshment above that which is needed.
I remember the first time I read these words. I was worn out spiritually and emotionally. God spoke to my heart and reminded me that He knew my grief. He understood that I was weary from my circumstances and from my sin, and He was ready to send the refreshment I needed!
God Knows About Your Weariness
When the children of Israel were worn out from their bondage in Egypt, God knew.
23 Now it came about in the course of those many days that the king of Egypt died. And the sons of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried out; and their cry for help because of their bondage rose up to God. 24 So God heard their groaning; and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 25 God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them. Exodus 2:23-25
One single Hebrew word is translated by the English phrase “God took notice of them”. But the Hebrew word states very simply and powerfully, “God knew!” He knew about their weariness and their bondage.He knows about your physical weariness and your spiritual weariness.
7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 8 So I have come down to deliver them… Exodus 3:7-8a
In their extreme weariness God came, and God will come to you in your weariness. The question we all have in our weariness is when? How long will it be?
These verses not only tell us that God knew their weariness but—God heard the cries of their weariness.
God Hears the Cries of Your Weariness
I have always been moved by the story of Hannah, who went to the place of worship greatly distressed, There she prayed and wept bitterly. The burden that she bore for years she could bear no longer. That day, in her extreme weariness, she poured out her soul before the Lord. The Lord sent a messenger who told her He had granted her petition. God was watching and listening. His heart was moved by her grief.
Is the same true for you? Yes!
All through my childhood, and well into my adult life, Psalm 56:3 served as a wonderful promise from God to my heart. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” But it took many years for me to discover a verse just as tremendous two verses down in that same Psalm.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
Imagine that! Your tears His bottle! That is how intimately God is involved in your personal journey.
God Will Respond to the Prayer Prayed in Weariness
How long will I have to cry? How many times will I have to pray before God will hear me? Consider this passage from Daniel:
20 Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, 21 while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. 22 He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding. 23 At the beginning of your supplications the command was issued, and I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed; so give heed to the message and gain understanding of the vision. Daniel 9:20-23
When did God hear Daniel? He heard him the first time. Daniel didn’t know that till later. You may not have any evidence that God is hearing you—but he heard you the first time.
But didn’t God promise to give strength to the weary? Yes! He gave strength to Daniel in a supernatural way.
How often has it been true for you that in your extreme weariness—when you were worn out and exhausted—when you didn’t think you could go another step or make it through another day—when you were just about to give up—the Lord came through! God sent somebody! He sent a messenger, or a minister, or perhaps it was a card or letter, a phone call, an email, or just a verse of Scripture that you saw in your open Bible. But you knew it was, as it were, sent from God!
There have been times in the midst of difficulty that through some Divine Appointment, I came to know that God knew! I didn’t have to tell anyone. God knew, and in His time He responded.
Daniel was praying in a time of extreme weariness and waiting for the Lord to send an answer.
Daniel said, “It was while I was praying, confessing my sin, and pouring out my soul before the Lord, that just about the time of the evening sacrifice, in the midst of my extreme weariness, God sent Gabriel!
I don’t know where you are or what you face.
I don’t know what your needs, your fears, or your heartaches. I just know there is a God who hears the cries of your heart. I know that He knows. I know that He cares. I know that if you will just keep waiting on Him, He will come through!
Did you notice when Gabriel told Daniel that God heard him? It was at the very beginning of his petitions. Daniel prayed for many days, but God heard him the first time.
It may be past your deadline. It may already seem long overdue, but you serve a God who heard you the first time! In His perfect timing, He will send confirmation that He has heard your cry.
God Will Come to You in Your Weariness
Even the greatest of God’s servants face weariness. The prophet Elijah once became so worn out spiritually and physically, that he went a days journey into the wilderness, sat down under a juniper tree, and prayed he could die. What did God do? In the midst of Elijah’s extreme weariness, God sent an angel to refresh his spirit soul and body. God knew.
What about you? Are you just before giving up on God? Have you gone just about as far as you can go? Did God arrange for you to read this because He knows where you are and what you need?
How do I know He knows? Three years ago, on a Wednesday night, I used this passage from Daniel in our church devotion time. That night, I was a year and a half into caring for my dad who had was on a feeding tube and in the last stages of Parkinson’s. I was overwhelmed and weary. I had been crying out to God for direction to help me know what to do and where I needed to be from day to day. After prayer meeting, I told my wife that I felt like I just needed to go home and spend the night with my parents. I drove three hours to my parents. I arrived at midnight. My dad was sick that night, and I sat up all night with him. Just before nine the next morning, my dad slipped into a coma. He died the next day. I was home with my dad because God heard me, and strengthened me, and guided me in ways I couldn’t see or understand. I was in the right place at the right time because of God’s providential involvement in my life.
Sometimes we feel imprisoned by our circumstances. We feel like life has locked us in some dungeon of despair and thrown away the key. Gloom and depression hangs over us like a dark cloud so that no ray of hope that can break through.
Daniel said, “I was praying and confessing my sins,and in my extreme weariness God came through.” I don’t know how. I don’t know when. I don’t know what it will look like when it happens. But I know that God will do the same thing for you!
Photo by Anh Nguyen