Did you realize that you are not alone when you feel weary?
But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. 2 Thess 3:13
We all go through it: times of exhaustion and feeling all alone in weariness. One of the biggest lies we encounter in our faith walk is that we are the only ones who experience what we are experiencing. I’m here to tell you that’s just not true. And I have some words of advice on how to deal with this weariness that we all struggle with at one point or another in our lives.
1st – Paul tells us that the temptations we struggle with are common to mankind (1 Cor 10:13). This alone should give us consolation and a reminder that we can find help, support and solace in the encouragement of other saints. When we feel all alone, we begin to isolate ourselves from other believers. This only reinforces our feelings of being alone rather than receiving comfort. The perpetual circle continues to spin and we are stuck on a ride that we cannot get off.
2nd – Solomon tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. Which I take to mean that nothing that I’m feeling is that unique in the universe, or the history of man, that I am alone in the middle of it. I don’t know about you but I find it very heartening to see the world as much smaller than I imagine it to be. Kind of the like the 6 degrees of separation theory.
For me, this isn’t about misery loving company. It is about realizing that I’m so much a part of the human experience that I’m never alone with what I’m feeling. That others before me and after me will feel what I feel and may, just may, have some words of hope for me today.
3 causes for our weariness.
I’m not sharing this as expert information, nor is this an exhaustive list. I’m sharing from my own personal experience. But since I think we are not alone, I’m also thinking that these may fit for you as well.
Long term physical trials
Whether it is cancer or pain or financial hardships, long term trials in our lives wear away at our resolve and endurance. At first, there is something almost invigorating about dealing with a crisis situation. We can look to the Lord with hope, faith and expectation to see His immediate rescue. But what happens with the suffering goes on and on and on? Living in that kind of sustained state of hope is difficult and even becomes painful.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick… Prov 13:12
We don’t necessarily lose faith, but we lose strength. We grow weary.
Constant giving to others without a break
There are 3 types of people who come to my mind: mothers, pastors, missionaries. Now, I’m positive that there are more but these are the folks who find themselves with constant and continual demands on them. This kind of continual work for others can easily make us weary. And God certainly understands that!
For six days work may be done, but on the seventh day there is a sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD… Ex 31:15
Mothers are expected to know all the answers and to solve all the problems of their children. From the time they emerge from the womb, children need constant and continual care and nurturing. The hope is that as they grow they will find their own independence from Mom. But there are many years when she is called upon 24/7 to give and give and give.
Pastors are often called upon by their congregation to fulfill all their needs. Depending on the size of the congregation and the structure of the church, a pastor can be called up on be everything for their congregants. Like a mother, they are expected to meet every need, with the added perspective that “I pay you to meet my needs”.
Missionaries actually uproot their life and home to take on a full time (again 24/7) lifestyle to minister to others. Once again so much of their weariness will depend on the mission group they are with and how carefully their mental, emotional and spiritual health is cared for.
Never taking the time to refill
This is probably the most common and the most neglected areas of our lives. It is so easy for us to abandon our time with God. The busier we get, the less priority we give to time in the Word and in prayer. Soon, we’ve gone for weeks without having time in solitude with the Lord and we are running on spiritual fumes.
But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray. Luke 5:16
We might try to get up earlier one day only to be thwarted with a sleepless night (a ploy of the enemy) and so we choose sleep over spiritual refreshment. And before you know it, we are completely empty and finding a spiritual weariness that is leaving us exhausted, cranky and resentful.
Is there any hope for the weary?
No matter how it might sound, the advice I have is far from trite. The answer is found in Jesus.
- Jesus is the One who fills us up.
- Jesus is the One who gives us strength in our weaknesses.
- Jesus is the One who provides for us so we can serve others.
I know for me, sometimes just seeing what the problem is takes me more than half way to find the solution. But Jesus doesn’t call Himself the Great I Am for nothing! He IS the answer to all of our needs and deepest longings. He is the One who refreshes, renews and rejuvenates us. He is the One to conquer our weariness with spiritual strength and power.
Too often we neglect to tap into that power because we disconnect ourselves from His power source — the Holy Spirit. We live our lives as if we are not spiritual creatures, focusing only on the temporal world around us.
Today I am encouraging you (and me as well) to step into the presence of the Lord. No matter who is calling you, no matter the suffering you are struggling with, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve spent solitude with Jesus, stop right now, bow your head and ask the Spirit of the Living God to wash over you with the spiritual revival that is life giving. Let Jesus take your burden and your weariness and you take His hope and victory today.