Weary… tired… exhausted… fatigued… worn out… just plain pooped. Whatever word you choose, we all feel it at some point, and I am it to the extreme these days! Life is such a whirlwind of good times and bad, ups and downs, and it all takes a toll on our bodies. We need times of rest and refreshment, no matter how strong we think we are. God has certainly used the past 8 1/2 months to teach me that.
Back in August I had a major wake-up call. To summarize a really long story, I had some very scary health issues that seemed to come out of nowhere, and I spent months being unable to function normally. My problems have certainly gotten better, but unfortunately I am still not totally back to my normal self. It has been a very frustrating journey, but one that God has used to grow and mold me. He’s given me some very valuable lessons through this experience, and I am continuing to learn.
One thing I’ve had to deal with is the issue of independence versus dependence on God. I very much like to do things for myself, and do them my way. I do not like to delegate or ask for help. I would rather just do it all myself. However, due to my illnesses, I quickly had to swallow my pride and allow others to step in and help me. I was physically unable to do things for myself, much less carry on the lifestyle I was accustomed to. My husband had to be husband, daddy, mommy, and caretaker, and our house was full of different people coming to help out. Talk about being knocked down a notch or two (or hundred)! God showed me that it isn’t about me and my strength… it’s about Him, and He used others during that time to truly minister to me.
God also taught me a lesson about rest. We are not infinite, almighty people. I know as moms we often joke about being “Super-Mom,” which holds some truth in theory, but the reality is we need rest. We need times of refreshing. If we try to carry through our days without ceasing, and hold on to all the baggage life throws our way, we are going to end up totally drained and exhausted. How can we be effective witnesses for Him if we’re feeling sunk and worn-out? Our body is not our own- it belongs to Him, and is to be used for His purposes. That means we have to responsible with what He has entrusted us with so that He can use it.
God promises to give us the rejuvenation we need if we simply come in trust and faith. Matthew 11:28 shows us this promise: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I did a little research, and I found that the word “come” used here is “deute”, and the word “rest” that is used is “anapauo”, which means “to rest, to refresh up, to cease from labor.” To summarize a lot of what I read, Christ is basically saying to give up whatever you are depending on and turn to Him instead. We can’t depend on ourselves or other people to give us the refreshment we need… we need Him. And when we give up those things we count on and realize we need Him, He will take care of refreshing us. And when we are refreshed, we are able to serve Him and bring honor and glory to Him, which is our sole purpose in life.