Lent: Rest for the Weary

When I was little my mom always said, “Be careful what you ask for, Sarah Beth.  You may just get it.”  I never understood that…really?  If I am asking for it, then I want it.  So I hope I get it.

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Seemed so simple to me.

At the beginning of Lent, I asked God for life transformation. When I asked, I wanted it with all my heart.  I wanted to draw closer to Him.  I wanted Him to reveal the junk in my heart, including wrong motives or misplaced efforts.

I wanted 40 days to focus intentionally on more Him and less me.  My heart was tired of the same old, same old.  My bible study felt routine.  My prayers felt rehearsed and repetitive.  I was still learning and growing in Christ, but I sensed that I’d moved.  I couldn’t hear Him as clearly in the busyness of my life.

I wanted my intimacy with Him back.

But, be careful what you ask for because if you’re asking according to the Scriptures – according to His will – he will answer. And probably not in the way you think he should or thought he would.  Yes, I am growing closer.  Yes, he’s revealed a truckload of junk in my heart.  But, the way he’s chosen to reveal all that?  Not how I would have revealed it to me.

It’s been hard.

I am not a fan of hard.  I bet you aren’t either.  I wanted a sweet time with Jesus at 5 am before my family awakened.  A time when he’d speak to my heart, I could journal and pray about it, then move on with a “Thank you, Jesus, for telling me.  I’ll take care of that right away.”

That’s not how it’s been.  He’s taught and transformed me through circumstances, people, and sleepless nights.  He’s revealed more to me than I ever wanted to know.

I am getting what I prayed for.  And, while hard, I am thankful.

Still, I feel weary. 

According to the dictionary, weary is exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness; feeling or showing tiredness. 

Are you weary?  Tired.  Feeling weak, unable to endure much, lacking intensity in your actions, or feeling stale.

Thankfully, we serve an all-knowing, almighty God who knows you and sees you.  He sees the weariness and knows you’re running on empty.  Tired.  Weak.  Stale.

He desires to show up in the weariness – if only we will let Him.  This morning as I read Matthew with my husband we found ourselves in Matthew 11:  28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11: 28-30

He is the giver of rest. 

I’d forgotten He gave rest in the midst of my weariness-inducing tug of war with Him. I am trying to keep some of my junk because I like it (sadly).   I am wrestling with Him at 3 am instead of giving it freely to Him, which leaves me tired.  My intensity is waning.  I want my relationship with Him and others to look a certain way, and he’s not answering how I think he should, so I continue to pull and He pulls me back.

Weary. 

Thankfully, in the midst of the weariness, I can surrender and stand on these promises from his Word:

In my weakness, weariness He is strong, and His grace is sufficient in the weariness – in anything:  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions,in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

He desires for me to run with endurance – not weariness – the race he’s marked out for me:  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give upAfter all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. Hebrews 12: 1-4

If you’re weary today, I pray you surrender to Him, ending the tug of war.  Cling to these promises from His word.  He is strong in your weakness; His grace is sufficient for you; He asks you to focus on Him, running your race with endurance (not weariness).

We should not weary in doing good for His glory, for at God’s appointed time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13).

Comments

  1. Sarah, this is such a perfect picture of what happens every time I seek the Lord. He surprises me by revealing things I wasn’t even asking about. Ouch.

    I usually sit in the Director’s chair of the relationship, which must make God kinda laugh.

    May you be strengthened and refreshed!

    • Thank you, Lori! Yes, I am definitely one to sit in the director’s chair but thankful for a God who takes the time and patience to remove me;).

  2. That really blessed me Sarah ..thank you and God bless you.

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