Friday Fatigue

wordswag_1495192046549“Dad, you sound really tired,” Chrissie said. “Why?”  Her observation was accurate. A combination of things: leadership challenges, concern for various members of the congregation, not sleeping very well for a few nights, internal battles …  just ordinary stuff of life …  tapped the reserves of body and soul!  My life is not that unusual. We all get weary especially as we come up to the end of the week, right?

We live in a world where frustration and failure is common because of sin that throws things out of balance.  It’s as old as Adam to whom, after his act of rebellion, God said “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you.” (Genesis 3:17-18, NIV)  The ‘normal’ Christian life will include struggle and weariness because we are living as ‘aliens and strangers in this world‘ while we are on our way home.  Paul urges us to face the tough days and “endure hardship like a good soldier.” Even Jesus got weary and needed renewal. Paul spoke of his weariness saying that his work led him to places where he was “in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often.” (2 Corinthians 11:27, NKJV)

But, we are no longer defeated by evil, nor are we slaves to sin, condemned to merely whistle bravely in the dark, hoping for the morning light.  We need not be perpetually weary, bone tired.  The Good News says that In the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, there is a new power at work in me that overcomes the Curse! He invites us to “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV)  His invitation is not to a resort where we throw off all responsibility. It is to work with Him in the power of the Spirit where we find what He calls “living water”  that springs up in us.

Yes, there are practical things we can and should do when we find ourselves bone tired.

First, find time to unplug from life, if only for a few hours.  Take a walk, go sit by a river, play with your kids, listen to music, paint, sing. Covey calls it ‘sharpening the saw,’ taking a break from the work to regain the edge necessary for effectiveness.

Second, worship.  In my weariness, I found moments to offer up thanks, for Who He Is, and to humble myself before Him.  In my life (yours, too?) I often become my worst enemy by trying to make it all work, driving myself hard.  Then I recall that He is God and my life is in His hands. St. Augustine said, “Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee.” If we offer up a sacrifice of praise – which I did – thanking God for what He has done, for Who He is, for the promises He’s made – our hearts are lifted up on the praises, our weary souls restored by the entry of the Spirit.

Third, we must raise our awareness. A weary person is vulnerable to all kinds of temptation.  The Word says, “sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:7, NLT) Weariness can easily lead to unbelief, fear, and seeking relief in sins of the flesh.

And, let me state the obvious – we need to take it all to Jesus and invite Him to come alongside of us. He knows the stresses, the sorrow, the challenges, the needs of our lives better even than we do and He cares. Yes, about the smallest detail. So, we share it with Him.  “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Jesus

Are you weary today?
Take a break, if only for a few moments, and unplug.
Worship, offering a sacrifice of praise.
Don’t let temptation take over.
Invite Jesus to come and stand with you.

The word from the Word is a familiar line from Isaiah.  Hear it anew.  “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)
________________________________
Abide With Me (listen at this link)

I have a home eternal home
But for now I walk this broken world
You walked it first You know our pain
But You show hope can rise
Again up from the grave

Abide with me abide with me
Don’t let me fall and don’t let go
Walk with me and never leave
Ever close God abide with me

There in the night Gethsemane
Before the cross before the nails
Overwhelmed alone You prayed
You met us in our suffering
And bore our shame

Oh love that will not ever let me go
Love that will not ever let me go
You never let me go
Love that will not ever let me go

Well You never let us go

And up ahead eternity
We’ll weep no more we’ll sing for joy
Abide with me

David Crowder | Jason Ingram | Matt Maher | Matt Redman
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Said And Done Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

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