Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, “Be strong; fear not!”
As I write this, it’s the first week of January 2022, and I’m standing on that familiar bridge between looking back at the past year and making resolutions for the coming one. Isaiah 35:3-4 strikes me as a resolution-type prayer that’s difficult to pray. Why? Because I can’t admit my weakness until I recognize it, and I can’t recognize it until I face myself in the scriptural mirror, diagnose selfish habits, and ask the Lord to change me. And, often, the outcome of that sort of inquisition doesn’t lead me to heightened strength and lessened fear; it leads me to deeper regret. But that’s where gospel light begins to shine through. That’s where Christ comes into the clear. That’s where I realize that my hands are weak in service, but His are strong, that my knees buckle under pressure, but His are firm, that my heart wavers with fear, but His remains sure.
So friend, take courage from our Lord’s call in Matthew 11:29 as you resolve to answer it: “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”