Have you ever experienced real exhaustion?
If you are a mother, then the answer is a resounding YES. But even if you are single or have no children, it is easy in our culture to push ourselves to the point of absolute exhaustion. It might not even be our own fault. It could be circumstances beyond our control:
- sick children
- aging and/or ill parents needing care
- insomnia (that bane of growing older)
- hot flashes (gotta mention those babies)
- non-driving children with very early jobs
Whatever the reason, exhaustion takes a very dear toll on our bodies, our minds and our spirits.
When we are super exhausted it is so easy for our natural mental processes and normally wise decision making to become skewed. We might actually stay up later and miss that small window of sleep that fell into our laps. We might allow ourselves to become (and live) cranky or crotchety. We might overspend at the store because our reason is out of whack and all we can think of is giving comfort to our bodies. We might overeat because we are looking for something, anything, to fill that void of refreshment and satisfaction that sleep used to fill.
Worse than anything else, we might neglect our time with God.
In looking for satisfaction for our bodies and souls, it is very easy to look to every other temporal avenue and neglect the one REAL One who can fill the deep longings in our lives. Jesus is the Only One who can fill any and every need in our lives. And He tends to be the last One we run to. Let’s take a step in the right direction, right now. Come with me as I take a look to see what can Jesus do when I’m really exhausted.
1) “He gives to His beloved sleep.” Ps 127:2
Well, that is pretty straight forward, if you ask me! Sleep is a gift that God gives to us. He designed it to renew and refresh our bodies. It brings healing, restores brain patterns, promotes memory, enhances good judgment and keeps us alive, sane and healthy. It was designed by our beloved Maker and is a necessary part of our lives. Because we are living in a fallen world, things just don’t work right – most of the time. Our bodies experience the corruption of all flesh and often do not work according to design.
When I’m working on designing a website and using a particular theme, if the theme doesn’t work according to the original specifications, I contact the designer! He/she is the one who knows how things are supposed to work. Generally what happens is that they inspect the site I’m working on, tell me what is causing the problem and gives me specifics on how to fix it. I’ll go back, jump in to implement those changes and VOILA! It works!
God is our designer. Our first source should always be the Grand Designer. When we are not working (or sleeping) as He designed us to, we should always check first with Him – ask Him to reveal to us if there is something in our lives that is causing this terrible exhaustion.
Is there any unconfessed sin we are neglecting.
Is there some deception in our minds that we are clinging to that must be rejected?
Is there worry that has taken a hold of our hearts and minds that must be replaced by joy and trust?
Is there resentment or bitterness toward someone that is eating away at our very souls?
Is there a physical problem we are not addressing: eating poorly or not taking care of our bodies?
Listen to the Spirit, follow His guidance in your life and let His Word wash over you with truth, direction, repentance and peace.
2) “My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on Your word.” Ps 119:148
I am often not all that able to concentrate in those wakeful nights. I read, but I read the same thing over and over because I don’t know what I’m reading. The same holds true for the Word. At least when it comes to reading long passages. But it is a great time for meditating.
I can take a verse or passage I’ve been memorizing or reading lately and mull it over in my mind. I can lie in bed and let the Words of the scriptures wash over my mind and let the Spirit touch me with depths of understanding. I don’t have to fret over interpretation or hermeneutics because I am just meditating – letting my spirit float around the aspects, implications, and variations of the passage. I let His Spirit open my heart to deeper meanings and applications. I listen as He enlightens me to where this passage is piercing to soul and marrow in my life. This is often the richest part of my day.
This doesn’t often get to happen in my daily quiet times with God. There are always things to distract me: school work to finish with children, rides for children, housework ALWAYS calls, meals must be made. I look for deep times with the Lord but I don’t always have the time I’d love to take (or used to take BC – before children). So what I miss in my daily devotional times, I gain in those night watches when I cannot sleep.
3) “And He was in the wilderness… and the angels were ministering to Him.” Mar 1:13
Our Father knows exactly what we are made of. He knows that we are weak and frail in our physical make-up. He knows that when we devote our lives to service to Him and minister to those around us, we can become exhausted. Jesus did, He became exhausted in His flesh – the weak human flesh we all have. He needed time to be ministered to. He would often go away alone to the wilderness to be with the Father. If Jesus, as perfect as He was, needed that time of refreshment and renewal, how much more do I!
So often we neglect that time. We gird on our loincloth, grit our teeth, pick up our cell phones and soldier on!
Now, sometimes there is a place for just sucking it up and getting on with the task. But when we need the Lord to minister to us in our abject weakness, that is NOT the time!
- That is the time for us to lay bare before our sweet Lord and cry out in our need.
- That is the time when we look to Him to send His angels to minister to us.
- That is the time when we seek a fresh filling of the Spirit of Life.
- That is the time when we confess that we have nothing left to give and yet there are those needing us.
- That is the time when we completely transfer our trust from ourselves to His loving and strong hands!
So, how about you today? Are you needing to RUN into the arms of Jesus? Are you seeking, not for Him to GIVE you strength, but to BE your strength? Now is the time to do it…right now!
(image courtesy of FrameAngel/freedigitalphotos.net)
All Scripture quotations are taken from the NASB.
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During the years that my mom lived with us, there were times that I was up late with her because she was either ill or I was taking care of her needs.
Sometimes on a few occasions she would call me in the middle of the night because she was having extreme pain or trouble breathing and I would have to drive her to the hospital. If it was bad enough I would have to call 911 instead.
Also, there was always a concern for her in the back of my mind as I was afraid she’d fall getting up to go to the bathroom.
I have to admit that now that my mom is in the nursing home, it is so nice to be able to go to sleep knowing that someone is awake and taking care of her needs. I never have to fear that she will call and no one will hear her!
What a wonderful post full of so much truth. We can get so busy “doing for God” that we neglect doing the things we need to do so we can continue to function well (like disciplining ourselves to go to bed early and take advantage of that window to sleep).
But there are also times where many of the reasons we’re sleep deprived are beyond our control. You gave wonderful advice about looking to God to BE our strength in those times.
I had never stopped to read your “about” page until this morning. I was so blessed by your heart and your ministry. I have many of the same passions.
I love these reminders, Kate, that we can truly rest in Him and in His promises when we are weary.
Thanks for hosting the link-up.
Blessings to you and yours, my friend!