the weary world rejoices

129-01 I loved this verse from today's She Reads Truth passage--"they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not grow faint."  Isaiah 40:31

I love that word--weary. I feel like it so perfectly captures the feeling. Not just tired, not just jaded, not only over it...weary. Like you're buckling under the weight of it all and every step feels like lead, but you've resigned yourself to it, like it's never going to change. That's what weariness means to me. Webster defines weary as "feeling or showing tiredness, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep." Excessive exertion. Striving. We are a weary people because we are trying too hard.

I love the line in the Christmas song 'Oh Holy Night'--"the thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices." I get so weighed down by the sin and brokenness of our world. It feels like we are just a weary, bedraggled, wandering people. And you know what? Jesus gets it. And amidst the weariness, He gives us cause to hope and rejoice. And not just any old hope--hope of the thrilling variety. Hope that makes your heart beat faster, that gives you that feeling of knowing something really really great is about to happen. Not just "I hope the line at Starbucks isn't too long" but hope of life eternal, of joy unending.

It's comforting to me, as a constant over-the-topper, to remind myself of this truth in this season, that it's okay to feel tired and broken and a little sad and not be spouting Elf quotes every minute. It's okay to cease striving and be still. It's okay to be weary, and yet still rejoice. Those two are not mutually exclusive. We can be weary, but still wait in joyful anticipation. We can be weary, and still hope. It takes so much pressure off! There's so much grace for the weary this time of year. God literally came down from Heaven and became man for the weary, the broken! We wouldn't have needed a savior that first Christmas day if we were a people who had it all together. Glory, hallelujah for grace made manifest, for Jesus who came for all us weary sinners.

It's the next line of the song that really gets me though--"for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn." Jesus doesn't just promise rejoicing in the midst of the weary--He promises a fresh start, a clean start, a new and glorious morn. I'm clinging to that hope, friends; I've got my eyes on the sweet joy that is coming!

This Advent feels especially sweet and rich as I wait in hope for Christmas and the coming year. 2014 held a lot of joy, but also an incredible amount of hardship and heartbreak, and I am so looking forward to stepping boldly and hopefully into 2015, hand-in-hand with Matt and with our eyes fixed on Jesus.

I am weary and overwhelmed this week in the thick of projects and end-of-year madness as I work to transition from freelance design to Creative Director for The Archibald Project, but I refuse to worry about it. As Rach Kincaid said yesterday in her Instagram post, "there will be peace in my home because Jesus dwells there." And there will be peace in my heart because Jesus is there, too. And He will renew my strength, because I hope in Him, just as He promises in Isaiah 40:31. Amen for that!


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