Last week was very long. Three zoom meetings, 2 dinner meetings, the biggest work assignment since before Covid, and a writing project that contains 30 elements is due in just under 3 weeks… all that in addition to caring for a sick dog and of course, the normal household duties that never seem to stop. You know,
By Friday, I was physically exhausted and ready for some down time. I often tell my kids that ‘sleep is medicine’, so I decided to take my own advice and snuggled down early in anticipation of the reviving power of a good night’s rest. After an uninterrupted 8 hours, I awoke, swung my feet out of the bed and padded my way across the floor. But even after a longer that usual morning routine, I didn’t feel the normal sense of refreshment that comes with the dawning of a new day. I think that’s because there’s a kind of tired that soaks in deeper and penetrates further than just aching muscles and sore eyes. It’s the kind of fatigue that stems from constant strain of mental and emotional exhaustion that balls up into a knotted wad and sinks into your heart like a stone.
It’s the ‘weariness of worry.’
You probably know exactly what I’m referring too. You are familiar with the strain of relational stress, the ache of emotional heartbreak, the burden of health concerns, and/or the pressure of problems that seem to have no hope of resolution… at least, not in a form that you desire anyway.
For believers, the load multiplies exponentially because in these deep moments of stress, God can feel very far away as your prayers hang in the air, dancing around your head like so many smoke-filled bubbles.
The second chapter of the Bible (above) can seem distant and no more relevant to our modern day problems than a 5th grade Sunday School history lesson, but God’s declaration of Sabbath rest is a foreshadowed promise that remains constant and as sure as the rising of the sun. Remember that the Lord didn’t pause His activity on the 7th day because His strength waned or that He lacked in any way. Instead He did it for us… to exemplify the gift of rest that would be extended to all believers through the work of Christ.
Though we are freed from the obligation of Sabbath as commanded in the Law (Col. 2:16-17; Gal 4:9-11), we still retain the blessing of Sabbath which has the power to breathe life into our weary souls. His rest begins with spiritual repair of our relationship to Him, but also extends to us an invitation for emotional wholeness as well. However, what He offers isn’t accessed through personal effort, a complex self-help program or a 10-step accountability group.
Jesus simply offers Himself.
While we still might be tempted to give into worry, anxiety and feel excessively burdened under the weight of the complexities of our day-to-day problems, our faith in Christ can sustain us and relieve the strain on our exhausted souls.
Rest is rooted in hope… and hope lies in a Person… Jesus Christ. Though we may never see things work out as we’ve planned, in Him, we can unburden our souls of worry as we trust that even the difficulties that seem to have no solution can be used for our good and His glory!
In my anguish I cried to the Lord,
and He answered by setting me free.