All of us know what being tired is like. Kids, work, school, church, and other activities can completely drain us. Tired is one thing. Being weary is different. It’s much, much worse.
Starting in the Spring, my role within the ministry I am with can become all-consuming. Now that we have hired all our staff, trained them all well, and have moved in to the process of leading them, my life is beginning to beginning to catch a groove again.
Last week, though, it all began to catch up with me. After 4 different speaking engagements, being out of town for 2 days, as well as all the normal minutia associated with the craziness of summer, I felt totally depleted.
If you are like me, you just want to shut down. It is in those moments when I am tempted to lock myself away and try to get sleep to provide me with something that it is not able to provide.
About 13 years ago a close friend and mentor wrote me a letter. In it he said, “Rest does not come in sleeping late. It is not in being alone (which is a challenge for a dad). Rest is not passive but active and full of faith. It requires us to sit before the Lord, and lay all our desires before Him.”
We all get to that place of being weary. The question becomes what we do once we find ourselves there. Here are a few things I have found to be extremely helpful:
1. Lock arms with a friend. I sat on the front porch with a good friend of mine last week, and told him how I was doing. Although we are hit and miss with regularly getting some time together, we both realized it was a necessity. It is amazing how sharing some simple thoughts on the weariness can “unclog” my heart. After a while, just getting it out made a noticeable difference.
2. Dump fuel. Analyze your schedule. Cut whatever you can to set you free. Even small changes can be a breath of fresh air when the pressure has raised past the point of discomfort.
3. Sit before the Lord. When weary, I am tempted to distract myself, as opposed to being refreshed by Him. I can turn my brain off at times by renting a movie, or doing mindless activity around the house. Unfortunately, when I’m done, the weariness returns. Grabbing my Bible, a cup of coffee and enjoying extended time on my front porch in the morning is just what the doctor ordered. Even as I sit, I can sense my energy returning.
Most of all, I needed to remember the verse that hangs above my fireplace in a picture frame:
“Come unto me all the ones laboring and having been burdened, and I will rest you.” Matthew 11:28
What do you do when you are weary?