Are any of you tired? The new school year has just begun, but I know many have already grown weary of the constant shuttling back and forth of children to school and activities, dinner preparations, and community obligations. You may wonder, “What is left for my family?” I’ve been feeling it myself.
Well, God has a few choice words for you and me.
I don’t know about you, but it refreshes me to read those words from Jesus. These are what are often called “red letter words,” meaning they are written in red in many of our Bibles because that indicates that these are words that Jesus actually spoke.
He knows about weariness and the need for rest. Jesus has experienced it Himself. He came here as a man, to serve man. Walking. Serving. Discipling.
He got tired.
Where did Jesus find His rest? Where did He go to get rejuvenated? He went to the Father, His Father, in prayer for answers and for provision. Jesus didn’t wander around holding His head or wringing His hands over how to feed the five thousand! He was still before God. He asked His Father to provide and was able to watch as that provision, that multiplication of the fish and loaves, made a way for rest and sustenance to His weary followers. (Luke 9: 1-17)
Jesus is God, so He has a few more resources, or giftings, at His disposal than we do, perhaps. But really, if we think about it, we have the same access to God the Father that Jesus had then.
Combatting Weariness As We Serve
How can we combat the weariness that sometimes sets in as we serve?
God tells us to ask Him for anything. Our needs and desires are known to Him already. He simply wants us to approach the throne and pour out our hearts to Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
If you are weary, He knows it. And He desires to give you, to give all of us, rest!
There are days when this seems like an impossible task. I know, for myself, trying to homeschool with five children whose ages range from 3 to 16 can be a real challenge. We have classes, ministry commitments, field trips, therapy sessions and at-home therapy, writing commitments, and more. But even amidst this we can find the time and a place to simply be still before Him.
Maybe you need to lay some of these wearying things down. For me, there is no maybe. I am in the process of laying more things down. This has been a year of paring down and pruning for me. God is doing something. He’s preparing me now for what is to come. But this pruning requires the stripping away of even more of the things, ideas, and commitments that I have been clinging to. So I’m opening my hands, letting go of my control, and giving it up to Him. I know His plan is good.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Offer rest to others.
There are times when we can see another mama, another family, and we just know. We know they are weary or struggling in some way. We’ve seen that look, than bone-tired, I-need-some-help-and-just-cannot-ask glaze in the eyes. Our tendency in today’s culture is to remain silent. We tell ourselves that their struggle is private and they don’t want us to pry. Or we may be afraid to take on another commitment ourselves. But God tells us to carry one another’s burdens.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
So, the next time you see a mama struggling, will you offer to help? Ask her how she is and if there is anything at all you can do. Offer to provide a meal, to care for her children, to help her to get organized . . . you’ll discern what may help. And if she says no or you just aren’t sure how to help, go back to prayer. Prayer always helps! Lifting others up to Him is how we intercede for them. And when we don’t know how to pray, Jesus will intercede!
Romans 8: 26-27 (NIV)
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Whether your offer is accepted or not doesn’t matter. In offering you will be in obedience to God. You will be giving the opportunity to rest, to confide, to ask for help. And that is a priceless gift.