Sometimes life is just plain hard. You have a bad day, or maybe a few bad days in a row…
There’s an endless list of to-do’s to mark off, yet just as one thing is crossed off the list, five more things jump onto it. Crazy how that happens, right?
You never have time to simply sit and relax — wait, relax? What even is relaxing?
Sometimes it feels like life has run you down until there is absolutely nothing left in the tank. It leaves you on the highway, with dozens of other people around you, all cruising on 75, while you’re struggling just to make it to the gas station. That empty gas tank just sneaks right up on you and leaves you questioning yourself, asking, “How in the world did I let it get to this point?”.
Are you running on empty? Are you struggling to make it to where you need to be? Or are you just straight up struggling?
I have two powerful words for you. Jehovah. Nissi.
The first time Jehovah Nissi was mentioned in the Bible was in the very beginning, back in the days of Moses; you may have heard of him? He did a really cool thing and lead an entire nation straight through the middle of a sea, which God split apart just for them; yeah, no big deal. In Exodus 17, the Amalekites and Israelites were at war. Moses had prepared for battle and sent the Israelite men to fight the Amalekites.
Moses’s battle plan was quite different from any tactics you might be familiar with. He went to the top of a hill overseeing the battle and held up the staff of God. Yes, you read that right, the staff of God. Even if you weren’t a believer and you heard about the staff of God, it would be pretty evident that it carries some serious weight (literally).
While Moses’s hands were up, Israel prevailed, but when he grew tired and weary and let his hands down, the Amalekites prevailed. Two of Moses’s buddies were on the hill with him and noticed his exhaustion, so they got on either side of Moses and bore the weight of his arms and the staff during the battle. After the Israelites received the victory, Moses lowered his arms and the staff of God and built an altar of worship and named it Jehovah Nissi, meaning “The Lord Is My Banner”. Moses remained faithful and rightfully gave God the praise and glory for the victory.
I say all of this to remind you that yes, life can be a very tough battle, but fellow warrior, we must be reminded of where our strength comes from. Our strength does not come from a large, very wonderful, and completely necessary cup of coffee goodness. It does not come from the satisfaction of checking off boxes on our to-do lists, as great as that might feel. It does not come from being the best at your job and it definitely does not come from the amount of dollar signs in your bank account.
Dear friend, our strength comes when we lift our hands, just as Moses did, and acknowledge that our strength is solely from the Lord. Our strength comes from flying our Banner of victory in Jesus high. Our strength comes from realizing that as amazing as we might think we are, we are weak and fragile, and we are in dire need of a strong Savior. The Bible even tells us that in our weakness, His strength is made completely perfect. What a great feeling it is to know that you really don’t have to have it all together and you really don’t have to do everything in your own strength. Just reading those words takes a weight off of my shoulders and calms my ever so anxious heart.
So, we must lift our hands in complete surrender to Jehovah Nissi, our Banner! But when our hands get tired and weary, God knows… He sees our state of exhaustion and desperation and He is right there to bear the weight for us. In Deuteronomy 31, He so lovingly promises us that He will never leave or forsake us.
So, if you’re feeling tired, weary, or burnt out, raise your white flag of surrender and declare that Jesus is your victory. Rejoice during your battle because your strength comes from God Himself, the One who victoriously defeated death and mightily conquered the grave.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
A fellow tired, weary, and burnt out believer (better known as Anna Jo).