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Reflections on Isaiah 40:22-23, 27-31

Why do you complain to — or about — God? Don’t you realize who He is and what He has done — and will do? Though we’re as insignificant as grasshoppers and could as easily be stepped on, God has chosen — in fact, delighted — to strengthen and empower us to live in and through and for Him; to be grasshoppers with real spiritual muscle. The smaller and weaker we realize we are, the more He can and does strengthen us.

Under our own steam, even at our peak performance, we’re no match for Him. We think we should be able to understand everything He does. Hah! Think about it: our understanding is just a speck in the universe of God’s knowledge and wisdom. And yet, we demand to know why He let this or that happen, or not happen, or happen now instead of later. The arrogance, the sheer conceit of it — telling God that He’d better explain Himself! We sometimes act like a two-year-old who thinks he should be in charge. Thank You, Father, that unlike some earthly parents, You don’t cave in to that!

God’s promise is that He will — not may — renew our strength. As we draw our life and purpose from Him each day, the things that have sometimes crippled our spiritual walk will be released. Instead of carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, we’ll trust God enough to put it where it belongs — on His. Then our spirits will be able to get off the ground, and discover the wonder of being lifted into His presence.

When we try to do things in our own strength, according to our own wisdom, we always end up hitting a wall. Burned up or burned out, the result is the same. We pull back, discouraged, disgusted, or both. Time for a little self-pity, perhaps; after all, we put so much of ourselves into it.

That’s the problem — so much of ourselves, so little of God. So much of our notion of what God wants us to do, so little effort spent asking Him, so little patience until He answers. So much of our striving, so little relying on God. And then we have the nerve to ask God why He allowed this to happen!

Here’s the thing: when God leads, He also supplies the resources. When we keep our eyes on Him as we go along, He keeps us on the right road. There may be bumps and potholes, but He’ll get us where He wants us to be. We won’t arrive burned out, but on fire for Him; joyfully and thankfully aware that only He could get us there. Instead of fainting, we’ll run with the unbridled exuberance of a deer in spring, kicking up our heels for the pure joy of it.

And that’s nothing to complain about, is it?