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After two weeks of sleeping in and moving slow, my family rose before dawn without effort. With little more than a gentle “Good morning—time to get up,” everyone was off and running. Before I knew it I was waving goodbye, closing the door . . . and marveling at so much energy and enthusiasm.

Who are you—and what have you done with my children?

Maybe the Back-to-School onramp wouldn’t be as steep as I thought.

Then . . . we woke to Day Two.

Just as I had done the previous morning, I moved from room to room, switching on lights and issuing my standard wake-up call.

I should have used an air horn.

While yesterday’s offspring bolted out of bed as if electrified, these creatures scarcely had a pulse. The first intelligible words I heard were “I. Hurt. All. Over.” (Of course, my first thought was, “Oh, no! Not a sick child!”)

What has happened to my children?

At long last they staggered into the kitchen, barely conscious for the morning devotional.

Eyes widened at God’s Word for the day:

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

Here was God’s answer. Life had happened to my children.

Comprehension dawned. Holiday rest and quiet had left my family unprepared for the busyness of everyday life, and they were worn out from a full day of classes and activities. My daughter was not sick, just sore from cheer practice. My “youths” were simply exhausted.

I can’t say if Isaiah’s words put an extra bounce in anyone else’s step that day, but they certainly re-energized me.

But how does “hope in God” renew our strength? After all, God is much more than some quick-fix energy drink.

According to the Amplified translation, there are some key ingredients that help us get going with God:

Those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God].

Wait. Look for. Expect. Hope. Such peaceful words offer great power:


To wait is to anticipate, recognizing we need something we do not yet have. This gap between our lack and God’s sufficiency gives dependence on him room to grow.

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Ever search for something you desperately need?

When key items go missing in our home, the first things we find are focus and determination. “Has anyone seen my ____?” is a cry for everyone to stop what they’re doing and hunt for it. If successful, we are relieved, grateful—and hopefully resolved to be a little more careful in future.

To look for God is to rediscover this same kind of urgent appreciation.


When the car keys/wallet/cell phone goes missing, all that frantic ransacking of the house is driven by uncertainty and fear. Until the missing item turns up, we can’t know where, when or even if we will find it.

But that will never happen with God. We look with confident assurance toward the one who will ‘never leave us or forsake us” (Deuteronomy 31:8).


Stumbling, fainting and falling are the marks of those tempted to give up. Hope, however, is the joyful promise that keeps us moving toward the finish line.

And hope will never fail to satisfy our deepest need because the Holy Spirit that was given to us has flooded our hearts with God’s love. Romans 5:5 (The Voice)

While I’m sorry my children had such an uphill morning, I pray such moments will wake them up to truth about God.

Let’s face it—it’s tough to keep pace in an unpredictable world that has us springing up one minute; barely able to move the next. Every human being, no matter how fit, is subject to human limitations. But those only serve to turn us back to our limitless God, the One who assures us his “power is made perfect in our weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

God has a formula designed to give us more than extra energy, but more of him. As we fill ourselves to the brim with his presence, he picks us back up and enables us to fly.