My alarm began the morning ring and I mechanically reached over to silence the reminder to get up. I lay in bed a few more moments aware that so much of me felt weary. I wish I bounded out of bed at the sound of my alarm feeling energized, but instead lately, I crawl more like a slug out from under the covers. I notice my exhaustion.
Exhausted – drained of one’s physical or mental resources; very tired.
How do you respond when your morning alarm sounds? Do you awaken with energy and vitality for the day, or creep out of bed, waking up half way through your shower? Perhaps you notice seasons and rhythms of both exhaustion and energy?
I wonder about my weariness. Reflecting over the past four months helps me recognize and understand why I feel a bit worn out. For example, packing and unpacking boxes, purchasing household essentials, supervising Denver Seminary students, serving the Black Rock Retreat staff, traveling internationally encouraging those in crisis, illness, helping friends and family through major life transitions, carrying on with Soulcare Anchoress appointments, and walking and caring for Grace bubble to the surface, reminding me that life has been full. No wonder I feel exhausted.
As I ponder my exhaustion with God, He reminds me of a few things. Jesus got tired too. I find myself grateful that our Lord and Savior experienced exhaustion. As I follow Jesus through Matthew 4-8, weariness arises within my soul. Have you ever imagined all that Jesus encountered in those four chapters? Jesus endured temptation in the desert, moved to live in a new village, taught truth, called His disciples, healed the sick, declared the greatest sermon ever (the Sermon on the Mount), healed many more, and then…he climbed onto a boat with His disciples to travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
As a storm swirled around the floating transportation, Jesus slept on a cushion in the back of the boat. I imagine that Jesus crashed, physically and emotionally worn out from the flurry of activity and engagements of the previous days. Even though 100% divine, Jesus simultaneously lived with the limitations of 100% humanity. Jesus experienced physical and emotional weariness just like we do today. I find comfort in this reality.
Sometimes I fight my limitations by falsely narrating to myself that I “shouldn’t” be so tired and that I just need to rely on God to be my strength. While God is my strength, He also empathizes with my weakness – my human limitations. He did not create humans as robots either physically or emotionally. God designed humankind to need rest and when I exert ourselves too much, I collapse like Jesus in the boat.
What do you tell yourself when you feel tired? Perhaps you feel worn out physically, emotionally, or mentally? Do you dismiss or validate your need for rest? How well do you embrace your human limitations? Take a moment to identify areas of exhaustion within yourself.
Thank Jesus that He knew moments of weariness as He walked the earth. You are not alone.
Jesus invited us to come to Him in our exhaustion; whether emotional, physical, or mental. As He addressed the people of His day, He witnessed the striving, the tiredness, and the burdens of culture and life. He offered a way through the fog of fatigue: Himself. He described Himself as gentle and humble.
“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.” Matthew 11:28-30
The God of the universe is not harsh with us when we are tired. He extends gentleness. He meets us with tenderness, mercy, and compassion. God provides us with care and kindness. God directs His very character of consideration, benevolence, and tenderheartedness toward our weariness. God is gentle.
Spend a moment resting in the gentleness of God. Receive his tender care into the exhausted places of your being.
Not only did Jesus describe Himself as gentle, but also as humble. I’ve wondered about God’s humility, the humility of Jesus as He walked the earth. Humility seems so evident as Jesus moved toward the cross and gave His life for the world, and yet, I find myself digging a little deeper as I consider Jesus as humble.
I wonder if part of the reason Jesus described Himself this way was because He lived with limitations as a human. He knew what it was like to be weary. He experienced exhaustion to the extent that He fell asleep on a boat in the middle of a storm. What if, in His humility, Jesus does not condemn or judge our moments of being tired, but empathizes with them because He understands them. In humility, Jesus validates why we might feel weary and what brought us to that point of exertion. He understands; that is humility of God.
Thank Jesus for understanding your exhaustion and His willingness to be with you in it.
Jesus offers each of us Himself – He invites us to come to Him. He welcomes us, meeting us in our burdens. He lifts the weight of our weariness with His presence and His love. Because He understands, He walks alongside of us, carrying the load with us, and at times encourages us to find a soft cushion and take a nap.
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Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.
Matthew 8:23-24 – Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.
Mark 4:35-38 – That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion.
Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Read these recommended books to fill your soul.
Sarah Hauser. All Who Are Weary: Finding True Rest By Letting Go of the Burdens You Were Never Meant to Carry. Chicago, IL. 2023.
Nancy Guthrie. God Does His Best Work with Empty. Carol Stream, IL. 2020.
Sprinklings of Truth: Soak in meaningful songs. Check out these music videos to lift up your spirit.
Lauren Daigle. Trust in You. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_aVFVveJNs&t=3s
Jordan St. Cyr. Weary Traveler. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io8GX4zMemg
Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.
If you’d like to watch a video from when I shared with Denver Seminary students about my trip to the Ukraine – here is the link: https://vimeo.com/846794477?share=copy