“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at a proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galations 6:9
Life can be exhausting. It has a way of zapping our strength.
Physically, mentally, and emotionally.
When we are dealing with beyond normal stressors like family drama, financial worries, or career woes, we often wake up feeling more exhausted than before we went to bed.
We believe if we could just take a nap, get a break from our jobs, or detach from that loved one who is draining us of our last ounce of hope, then we would feel full of energy and strength again.
Don’t we wish we could all take those much-needed vacations more often?
If only it were that simple.
Rest for Weary
For a little encouragement, let’s take a look at the life of Jesus. There is no mention in the scriptures of Him taking a vacation to the Caribbean during his three and a half years of public ministry. He didn’t get to call off sick from work. He didn’t disengage from all the sinners or broken in his life.
Instead, He pressed into the presence of His Father. He prayed and allowed God to lift His burdens and give Him rest.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV
Jesus knew He could never run away from his problems or stressors in life. There would always be new troubles and new people desperate for help waiting for Him when he got where He was going. Sure, He knew how to take breaks. But those breaks were meant not to run away and hide, but instead, to strengthen Him.
Jesus found strength in the presence of His Father. He rested. He prayed. He nourished himself. He lived a life of balance. So should we.
Strength for the Weak
Our beyond-exhausted spiritual fatigue is not something we can run from. All the vacations in the world can’t replenish a worn-out soul. (Although, they can refresh a tired body and mind). Our weary hearts and exhausted minds need more than just a quick get-away.
And while we all love much-needed breaks, we still have to come home and face life again. The reason is because the same problems and people wait for us when we make our way back to the real-world. Our normal everyday burdens aren’t whisked away by quick getaways. What we need is to get away with the One who can calm our fretful minds and soothe our anxious hearts.
In the real world, we are not always strong, but God is. He never expected us to do this life in our own strength. Unfailing strength is found only in Jesus.
“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6 NIV
In reality, it’s in our physical brokenness that the Lord lifts us up, wraps His strong arms around us, and reminds us that we are not alone. His Spirit will energize and strengthen us as we look to Him.
How do we find strength for each day? Here are some pointers that may help.
Prepare. Begin your day by first spending time with God. Don’t rush out the door before you ask Him for help.
Praise. Enter your time with the Lord by acknowledging Him and thanking Him for being with you. Worship Him through praise and song.
Pray. Ask the Lord to guide your day and to give you strength for it. Seek forgiveness if you are needing it. Confession is good for the soul. Find strength and refreshment as cast your cares on Him.
Ponder. Read the Bible. Meditate on the promises of God. Ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate the truths within its pages. Seek wisdom in how to apply them to your life and circumstances.
Plan. Develop a plan for letting go and finding strength in the Lord. Do you need to slow down and say “no” to a few things? Write down practical ways that you can put into practice letting go and letting God. Set aside a few minutes every day to work on them. Maybe it’s taking ten minutes each morning and evening reflecting on the things that are weighing you down and then releasing them back to God. Planning these daily spiritual retreats allows for a few minutes to relax your minds, release your burdens, and refresh your souls.
Practice. Learning to do things differently takes practice. Old habits die hard. Putting into practice new ones takes effort. Ask the Lord to cultivate a disciplined spirit in you to help you recognize when you are retreating into old mindsets and habits that will leave you exhausted by your own efforts. Practice really does make perfect when it comes to renewing our minds.
Jesus knew where His strength was found. He was also very practical. He took care of his body and refreshed His soul. He encourages us to find our strength just as He did. He invites us into His presence, where we will find rest and refreshment.
There, He will carry us. There, He will strengthen us. There, He will heal us.
“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10 NIV