When you are tired, exhausted, weary, or just plain worn out, it always seems like there is someone there asking you to do one more thing. Most days I can mask my tiredness with dark roast coffee (3-4 cups at least). But I am keenly aware that many struggle with this daily. You are just out of gas and you are only half way up the hill. You may feel guilty or ashamed that you feel this way. Maybe you’re angry or becoming bitter. Any way you slice it, you are running on fumes and another request is just lurking around the corner. Now before you run off to solitary confinement, commit a crime just to get locked up, or go off the grid, Jesus knows how you feel. You are not alone and that is not some spiritually trite saying. This is fact. Jesus, Savior and King of this world, knows your suffering and you are not alone in feeling this way.
As I was studying for a small group lesson, I came across a line that jumped from the page. I was reading the account in John 4 about the Samaritan woman. In verse 6 of chapter 4 John records these words, “…Jesus, worn out from his journey, sat down at the well.” If you are like me, I have to tendency to forget the humanness of Jesus. I picture Him as the supernatural energizer bunny racing around healing folks, doing miracles, and having major theological debates with the Pharisees. He keeps going and going and going…
But as we see in this verse, Jesus got tired because of the journey. Just let that thought wash over your mind, because the same is true of us from time to time. We get tired from the journey. My wife and I are raising two small children and as I have reported before, they don’t like to sleep. Some of you may be dealing with longterm sick relatives or a lost loved one. Maybe you recently lost your job or your current job is sucking the life from your soul. Your marriage might be on the rocks or all ready fallen apart. Are your funds running out with some bills left over? Have your friends turned their backs on you? The list could go on for days. But the fact is you are exhausted from the journey. Let me be blunt with you! It is ok to admit that you are worn out by life. It is even ok to vent about it to a trusted friend. But it is not ok to become so focused on your tiredness to think you are the only one who is suffering through or has ever suffered. Jesus got tired as well.
I am comforted to know that my Savior also got tired from the journey. He had a much more important job to do than I. He identifies with us because He was human and suffered in many of the same ways we do. In these times when the journey gets difficult, we need to remember His love for us and His desire to lighten our load. In Matthew 11:28-29 Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Phew, now that’s good stuff right there.
These verses remind us of a few things. He says “Come to me.” Stop trying to drag this weight on your own. It will only wear you down further. It doesn’t matter if you being tired is your own doing or because of someone else’s decisions. Jesus is calling you. Go to Him. Run to Him. Don’t rely on yourself one more second. He is waiting with arms spread wide open for you to come to Him. Second, He identifies His target audience, the tired, weary, and over burdened folks. He didn’t want you left out just because you have a lot going on. He has a gift for you, REST! Before we go any further, I don’t want you think that this is some magic wand that will instantly fix all your problems. God can do that, but usually chooses not to. (We can cover that in a future blog.) I believe this rest is peace for your weary soul. It is the moment of shifting all your cares and worries to Him and allowing Him to work in the situation. I believe He will energize your soul and give you a breath of fresh air in your tired journey. What you are essentially doing is relinquishing control to Him. Satan attacks your heart when you are weary from the journey. He knows that you are doing too much on your own and won’t allow Jesus to do His work. So Satan comes at you in this weakened state.
Finally, Jesus reminds us that He is gentle and humble. That might not mean much to you, but let me explain. Have you ever confided in someone and they berated you or scolded you like a child for your foolish behavior? What happens? You wish you would have never said a word or you resent that person. Jesus is saying that when you come to Him, you will not be met with harshness, condemnation, or severe scolding. You are met with peace, love, kindness, grace, mercy, and patience. When you are embraced that way, you instantly feel rest in your soul. If you read the whole story of the woman at the well, you will see how her story was forever changed by her time with Jesus. Your story will be too. Jesus is for you. Go to Him during this time and find rest!
In addition to reading this blog and the account in John chapter 4, I would also recommend a couple of songs that will encourage your heart. Worn by Tenth Avenue North click here and Come to the Altar by Elevation Worship click here.
My prayer for you is that you would be encouraged during this difficult season of life. Don’t give up because you are tired. Jesus wants to give you rest so that you can continue living for Him. Don’t let this period of your life rob you of your destination. Run to Jesus!
Grace and Peace to you as you find rest for your weary soul. Don’t ever forget that Jesus loves you and has not forgotten about you during this time.