Do you struggle with #Exhaustion? Does it keep you from accomplishing your goals? Does it distract you from being present? Does it silence the convictions and the heart of God?
Exhaustion...this was a familiar and constant word prior to January 2018.
I was not just tired. I was "can't put one foot in front of the other" tired. I was living life on autopilot and everything besides work got my leftovers, which trust me, was not a lot. I found myself working in the mornings before Gavin woke up, then 9 hour days at the office, and then once everyone went to bed, at least another hour, another phone call, another update... Saturdays and Sundays, I was no stranger to the office. I was out of control. But if I didn't, it would not get done. So I thought.
I was praying, through tears most days, for time to catch my breath. TIME to breathe - I wasn't high maintenance - I just wanted to BREATHE.
Have you been there? Maybe not work related, but where you poured so much of your effort into something you left yourself depleted?
Let me tell you how God answered my prayer...He allowed me to have a tragic accident. I fell. Slipped - you got it - walking into work. It had been raining, my shoes were wet, I was in a hurry, carrying a lot, and focused on what I needed to get done. Wet shoes and a granite floor .... you get the idea. I fell. I tried to get back up, which I could not. And as I layed on the floor waiting for an ambulance, I unraveled, not in rest - in pain and stress because in the midst of His gracious answered prayer - I was angry that I was going to be delayed getting to the office! Overcome with all the things I needed to get done! (How much was I like the Israelites standing by the Red Sea cursing God for His rescue) After a quick trip to the ER, pain meds and a confirmed injury - I returned to the office. I had so much to get done...I worked and prepared from the couch over the weekend, visited my surgeon Monday morning to confirm that surgery could be put off until Friday and then I went to work (a 3 day conference, what was I thinking?) - it was my job. Right?
My Prayer - "God, give me rest, so I can do your will"
God's response: An Injury which required me to rest. A recovery of 2-3months.
My Response - "I don't have time. Can I delay rest"
Have you ever stepped back to look at a birds eye view to see how your story would be written? How embarrassing. How convicting. How humbling. But when you are busy - it is easy to be so caught up in one moment to the next (out of sheer desperation and exhaustion) that you cannot see the big picture. The answered prayer. The gift of rest.
I will eventually write my story in full, these stories stand alone as lessons unfolded, but in whole you see a beautiful picture of grace, provision and incredible love. We belong to a God so willing to use us, where we are (faults included) to create an incredible testimony.
It is funny to me how God is now revealing that the past 5-7 years was used to show me the capacity God has given me, so I will quit using the excuse "I am too busy."
More than being busy, exhaustion carries us to the place of true desperation. My desperation lead me to overworking myself.
Where do you find yourself turning in your exhaustion/desperation?
Some people turn to more work. Some withdrawal. And some cry out to others for help. And some, as we all should, turn to God. Crying out to Him to help us clear the clutter. Clarify the path. Give us Rest. Prepare us for what is ahead.
Biblical Example: David.
A man after God's own heart - this was the lable David was given, by God. David defeated large animals with his bare hands, brought down giants, demolished kingdoms, and at times, even overcame His own flesh.
Was he perfect - no, even David fell victim to his flesh and broke half of the 10 Commandments. But still, he had a heart like God's. And even David, with a heart after God, was at time weary. Exhausted. Tired. (2Samuel21:15)
But when David reaches the end of his own energy and strength - he doesn't avoid that which he is called to obey. He forges on, knowing all so well that in his weakness, God will be his strength. And God is the epitome of provision in many of David's stories. Providing rest, perspective, joy, escape, or in some case others to fight for him.
In David's obedience and in God's provision - David finds victory. Many times throughout Psalms, David cries out to the Lord in his exhaustion. Each time, David highlights that the Lord hears and rescues, confronts, and rewards.
Our God, the same God David loved and obeyed, waits for our exhausted cry. He longs to rescue. He desires to confront. He waits to reward. He will send rest. He will give you perspective. He desires to increase your joy. He provides a way out and allows others to come along side you and encourage or fight for you. But this provision is a response to obedience.
David revealed of his obedience, "[he] kept the ways of the Lord...so the Lord rewarded [him]" (Psalm18:21-24) And in his sin, David admits in his unrepentance: "my bones wasted away...my strength was dried up" (Psalm32:3-5) But "[God] heard [his] pleas for mercy...He inclined his ear to [him]...[his soul] returns to rest because the Lord dealt kindly with [him]...[and so he] will return to walk before the Lord" (Psalm116)
We need to Rest in the Lord when we find ourselves exhausted. Do not look to yesterday in guilt or to tomorrow with anxiety. Guilt and Anxiety produce exhaustion. But Resting in the Lord will allow us to obey. Resting in the Lord allows him to paint the next step, affirm your position, and refresh our desire.
How encouraging - that we can have a heart after God and be tired...what a relief. But when we realize we are tired, we need to turn to Him. We need to ask Him to clarify our position, clearing away distractions so we remain where He places us - that is where He will bless us.
" Never is a [person] so fulfilled as when [they] choose to underwhelm [their] schedule, to allow God to overwhelm [their] soul. -Lisa Teurkherst
I have found God's plan to be peaceful because HE creates it for us, our gifts, our abilities, and HIS involvement. How are you wearing yourself out? What is depleting you on a daily basis? We overwhelm ourselves with tasks and burdens when we were never intended to carry the weight of life on our own. Rest in Him today. Let Him fulfill you, and replenish you. He cannot use us when we are running on empty.
God's Promise: Rest and Presence.
Exodus 33:14 | Deuteronomy 4:37-40 | Psalm 3:3-5 | Psalm 16:11 | Psalm 46:5 | Psalm 46:10-11 | Psalm 68:35 | Psalm 73:26 | Psalm 105:4 | Psalm 127:1-2 | 2 Thessalonians 3:13 | Isaiah 30:41 | Isaiah 40:29 | Jeremiah 31:25 | Matthew 11:28-29 | John 15:9-10 | Acts 5:32 | 1 Corinthians 2:5 | 2 Corinthians 12:9 | Colossians 1:29 | Philippians 4:13