From my journal in February 2019.
“I am afraid of not making it. I am afraid of losing heart. Please fix what is broken inside of me. I am not sure at all how to dig out. I don’t feel like I can let anyone know.”
“Yesterday a friend of mine said, “You look like you are crashing.” He could see my weariness.”
As I said previously, we all get weary. We may have different levels of weariness and it may manifest itself in different ways, but we all get weary. Many of us can relate with Psalm 42 that says, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for You, O God…Why are you in despair, O my soul?”
So what can we do when we are in a season of weariness? It is definitely easier said than done. Being weary is hard.
Here are a couple of things I have learned the hard way.
- Don’t Try to Fake Until You Make It. Embrace it.
If you are weary, then you are weary. It is ok. You do not have to pretend that you are not. You can’t just plow through and the weariness go away.
I believe God wants us to embrace the reality of the moment and allow Him to work in our lives while we are tired. That is just what Jesus says in Matthew 11:28-29, “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…” Jesus wants to teach us while we are right in the middle of being tired.
Psalm 86 begins with David telling God, “I am poor and needy”. A few lines down he says, “Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; Unite my heart to dear Your Name.” David was embracing his needy soul and trusting that God could teach him something new.
I learned that God can use seasons of weariness to reveal things in me that need to change. There’s not enough space here to cover all of that….. He can use these seasons to increase our dependence on Him, remind us of things that are true about Him, and make us more like Jesus. He wants you to know that even though you are in a hard place, that He loves you and is still with you.
If we try to ignore the reality of the moment we may miss something amazing that God wants to show us.
- Don’t be Weary Alone.
Several years ago my thoughts about inviting others into my weariness were challenged when I read Matthew 26:38, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.” Jesus invited people into His grieving soul. If there was ever anyone who could say, “I don’t need any help”, it was Jesus. But He chose to let people in and asked them be with Him.
None of us are meant to navigate our spiritual lives alone. Followers of Jesus need each other when the journey is easy and when it is hard. When I think back on my season of weariness, I remember many times sitting with one of my good friends and him looking me in the eye and asking “Are you ok?”
Part of me wanted to say, “I’m fine” and then move on. I don’t like attention. I don’t like complaining. I don’t like to bother people with my problems. I don’t want to be seen as weak. Put another way, I allow my pride to get in the way of being loved. The other part of me knew that I needed him, and others to help carry me through. I needed someone that I could be completely honest with and look back at and say, “No. I am not ok.”
It was worth the risk of being seen as weak in order to find rest in Jesus.
Bonhoeffer wrote, “The Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s Word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged, for by himself he cannot help himself…”
When we are weary we need to ask a trusted brother or sister in Christ to be with us, listen to us, and speak truth to us. We need to allow ourselves to be loved. For me it was a couple of close friends and my wife. I also allowed my two oldest kids to know that I was struggling. I wanted them to see their dad walk with God when his soul was weary.
You can abide in Jesus when your soul is weary. I am confident that embracing my weariness and opening myself up to others were vital in helping me find the rest that God wanted for my soul.