“Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30 CSB).
Life is hard. Minutes transform into hours that steadily succumb to days. And so on. How many of us wake up, stare at whatever we use for an alarm clock, and beg time to stand still for a little longer? We wear out. We break down. And yes, we just want to give up. It isn’t only physical weariness; sometimes, we’ve got emotional and spiritual tiredness as well. There’s arthritis and weakening limbs that come with age and physical exertion. There are headaches and backaches. How about the nights we lay awake in bed after a really trying day at work or fight with a partner or friend? What about when we’re doing God’s work and every day feels like a struggle, but we see bad people seemingly thrive, seemingly blessed by God’s love?
I’ve said before that God absolutely gives us more than we can bear. He heaps more on our shoulders than we can carry alone or even with the people who matter most in our lives. “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before him, he endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2 CSB). We’re building spiritual strength, the ability to carry more, but God’s shoulders are where our burdens must rest. It’s our faith in Him, our belief that we go through Jesus Christ first, that helps us endure.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (CSB), we’re told, “But as for you, brothers and sisters, do not grow weary in doing good” but doesn’t that just… feel really hard sometimes? The world is designed to make good work feel harder, especially when you’re doing Christ’s work. How much easier is it to join in with your coworkers badmouthing that one person who, quite honestly, fits with what’s being said, than it is to just remain quiet or discourage the cruel words? How much easier is it to turn the corner in the grocery store to pretend you didn’t see the guy twist his girlfriend’s arm to get her to comply or the mother slap her child because he’s throwing a tantrum? This world encourages our weariness so we don’t get involved.
Think on Psalms 69:3 (CSB): I am weary from my crying; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. We don’t always see the Father, even when he’s standing right in front of us. We want quick fixes, without understanding that he often leads us, the long way, towards clearer understanding. Tiredness grows. Faith falters. And yet, we should still keep searching for God, to give him our worship and lay our burdens at his feet. I won’t tell you things will be easier. But, they’re a whole lot easier with God than apart from him.
Sometimes, we ask ourselves this: who cares? What’s the point in believing in God when life is just… hard? Honestly, I’ve asked myself the same question. I stumble and feel bitterness- i.e. resentment- the same as anyone. There are times when it’s just so hard to lift my eyes to heaven or arm in praise. There are times when offering blessings and forgiveness are titanic feats. Writers often hear that we are our worst critics (it’s true, we are), but let me posit this: we humans are our greatest foe and most constant stumbling block. It’s easy to say the devil made me do it, but I’d hazard a guess that ol splitfoot is a bit more passive when it comes to pushing us away from God.
The Father cares. We’re not putting the burdens at His feet. We’re not putting the trust in his arms. We’re trying to be our own superheroes. And man, it’s impossible to keep going down that particular road. He cares alright, but it isn’t always how we wanted to be cared for. He does, alright, but it isn’t always the way we’ve asked for. We’re weary- I’m weary- because life needs to be on our terms and we’re going to keep fighting until it gets that way. Let me tell you, brothers and sisters. That’s a fight we won’t win. The point is Jesus. The point is having the strength to keep the faith when weariness takes hold and we just don’t want to do it anymore. The point is believing.
Don’t let the weariness prevent you from living your God-given life. Give it over to Him and keep going forward. Trust me, you’re not as alone as you feel.