We’re halfway through November and I have a confession to make: I am feeling weary. I feel like a 5-year-old who tried to fill up their own plate at Thanksgiving dinner. My plate is heaping high with delicious morsels, but my stomach is full. My stomach is full and I’m trying to shovel more in even though it’s making me sick.
Today God lovingly corrected me. He helped me realize that I have lost focus on the only thing that matters in life: Him. My eyes have been focused on all the good things around me, but I forgot to stop and check if they were God-things.
The enemy loves to distract and deceive. As Christians we are not immune to temptation. Even Jesus was tempted, but he never gave in. He stayed focused on the Father.
The enemy is a master deceiver. He’s had centuries of practice and knows all too well how to blind us. He can even use good things to distract us from the plans that God has for us.
It is good to bring meals to new parents after they’ve just given birth. It’s good to volunteer at your local food bank. It’s good to help your elderly neighbor rake her yard. It’s good to buy gifts for those you love. It’s good to send out family Christmas cards to brighten the lives of the people who love you. All of these things are good. But when they are used to distract us from God, they can become idols.
Sometimes, we unknowingly take God off the throne of our lives and put “doing good” there instead. And sometimes we put ourselves on the throne. This is when we run into weariness. I try to be everything to everyone. If you were to look and see the things I’ve been doing this past month, you would say they were good things, because they were. But because I’m weary, I know I’ve been doing lots of good things, but not a lot of God-things.
If I were doing only what God was calling me to, I would not be tired. And I don’t just mean physically tired. I mean tired all the way to my very being. The kind of tired where you question how you’ll possibly go on. The kind of tired that leaves you crying on your bedroom floor asking God “what’s the point of it all?”
God equips us for everything he calls us to. He gives us the strength, peace, patience, endurance, and hope we need to see it though in exactly the way he meant for it to be done.
If you’re like me and you’re feeling this soul-deep exhaustion, I invite you to refocus your attention on the one who satisfies our deep thirst. Stop what you’re doing. Take a deep breathe and simply say the name above all names: Jesus. Whisper it aloud to yourself and let his peace and his spirit wrap you up. Imagine your Heavenly Father’s arms around you, pulling you close. Listen for his heartbeat. He is with you.
Write down all the things you feel you need to do and prayerfully consider which things are God-things and can stay. Consider which things are just good things and need to go. God will give you wisdom and direction. Don’t let the enemy deceive you into thinking you can or need to do it all. When we spend too much time doing just good things, it takes away our energy, strength and ability to do the things God is truly calling us to. When we prayerfully consider our “yes” and our “no” we will find we never grow weary.
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
[1 Corinthians 14:33 | Hebrews 4:15 | Matthew 6:24 | James 4:4 | 1 John 2:15 | 2 Timothy 2:13 | John 4:14 | Hebrews 13:8 | James 1:17]