They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31)
I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “Hitting the wall.” Loosely defined, it means reaching a mental block that yammers at you that you cannot go on. Marathon runners say it happens at about the 20-mile mark. In my experience as an athlete, coach, and trainer, I have found that most competitive athletes in all different arenas know the experience of hitting the wall. They say that the pain and fatigue become so great that they feel like they really have run headfirst into a brick wall. Focus is lost and the desire to press on disappears.
As a pastor, I have found that we all hit the wall from time to time in a variety of ways.
- In our careers
- In our marriages
- In our finances
- In our health
- In our service to God
Moses hit the wall after the Lord appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush, calling him to lead the children of Israel out of their bondage; Moses tried every excuse in the book to keep from going back to Egypt. Elijah hit the wall after his great victory over the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel; he asked God to take his life because Jezebel had sworn vengeance. Peter hit the wall when he was accused by a servant girl in the courtyard on the night Jesus was betrayed; he denied knowing Jesus three times. Yet, in their “wall-hitting experiences,” each of these heroes of the faith found the Lord to be faithful to renew their strength to keep going.
Regardless of where this message finds you today, keep the promise of today’s verse before you. Whatever “wall” you may be facing, the Lord will renew your strength if you will trust in Him and wait on Him. It really is an issue of trust. If we are trusting in ourselves when we hit the wall, we will ultimately collapse. But if we are trusting in our Savior when we hit the wall, we will be renewed and restored . . . edified and encouraged . . . strengthened and sustained.
Do you remember that Jesus Himself hit the wall in the Garden of Gethsemane? In His darkest hour He cried out to His Father in heaven, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). Jesus prayed and waited on His Father in heaven, and He was strengthened to take our nails, our crown of thorns, our cross, and our death. And on that glorious third day, the ground began to shake and the stone was rolled away, and Jesus walked out of the grave and into our hearts.
The witness of the wall is that God is faithful. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us, and He assures us He will meet us at our every point of need.
Have you reached the point where you believe you can’t go on? Remember the witness of the wall, and you can be sure that you will be renewed. Trust in His promise!
God is not a man, that he should lie,
nor a son of man, that he should change his mind.
Does he speak and then not act?
Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!