“My worries keep me awake at night.”
“I’m weary of all the same problems.”
“Taking care of ________________ leaves me exhausted.”
Maybe you’ve said one of these things or all of these things. Maybe you have a baby and you are up 4 different times during the night. Maybe someone has broken your heart and you can only sleep when you are falling-down tired. Maybe your brain won’t stop its list of what could go wrong when you put your head on the pillow. Whether it’s one of these reasons, all of these reasons, or something else, you are tired and you don’t know when you are going to get some relief.
My own weariness right now threatened to scrap this article. On my own, I do not have the answers for you. Maybe you are sick of the same advice we always get.
“Take some time for yourself!” Easy enough when you have people who will help you – who will help me?
“Let go of your worries!” Um, hello? Have you seen the size of my worries? They are huge!
“You need to pray more.” Well, sometimes this is the answer. But when I’m tired, it feels like a jab rather than a hug from the person telling me so.
Besides sleep/solutions to problems, I believe what we are really craving when we are tired and weary are peace and strength. We can find both in our mighty and powerful God, who can see us through little and big problems.
First, let’s look at peace. I memorized plenty of verses when I was a kid at church. But the first passage that I can remember choosing to memorize on my own as an adult is Philippians 4:6-7.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
There are a lot of avenues today offering us peace. Peace of mind with doorbells that have cameras. Investment products that promise peace financially for years to come. A person who will provide the perfect relationship for the rest of your life.
Some of these avenues aren’t bad things. But without the peace of God in your life, they will fall short of what we need to live our lives as God meant us to. “Letting our requests be made know to God” is the key to that peace of God guarding your heart in Christ Jesus. I know it sounds a lot like “Pray more!” but I gently and boldly encourage you to do this. As you supplicate, meaning “entreat someone in power for help or a favor”(from vocabulary.com), you are asking, in prayer, the Creator of the universe for help with something that is probably a lot easier than forming the earth. You are thanking Him for what He has already done in your life, which can be such a key to having a heart at peace. You remember what He has done and that He can do it again. And this short passage sums up with this unimaginable and amazing peace “guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus”. It doesn’t sum up with “and everything will be OK”, “and you will get what you want”, or “your problems will go away”. But He has promised in these verses to provide you the peace you need.
Second, let’s examine strength. We get overwhelmed because we feel powerless over circumstances. On our own strength, in our own flesh, it can be impossible to get through circumstances. But we have God who does not grow weary! Isaiah 40:28-29 says,
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength.”
Our God isn’t tired or weary. He provides strength to those who have no might! He gives power to the weak. I’ve found that in really difficult circumstances, God has provided the strength that I don’t have to get me through the hardest of times. Sometimes I feel that peace and strength easily. Other times, it comes as more of a struggle as I wrestle with God to live by His power and strength, and not my own flesh. Peace and strength show up when I surrender my will for the situation for God’s.
If it’s been a while since you’ve read the Bible or prayed, it can seem overwhelming. It doesn’t mean that you have to pick up a Bible reading plan that takes an hour a day. Nor does it mean that you have to spend a whole day praying. Those things can be good, but I’ve not done either of them. I’m talking about reading something in your Bible – the book of John is a good place to start. And prayer is just talking to God! Have a conversation with Him throughout the day. We don’t just eat once a day, but keep going back to fuel up. Continue to check in with God throughout the day to remind yourself of His peace and strength.
By all means, if you can grab that nap, if you can set aside some responsibilities for a time, if you figure out how to solve a problem, do it. But when you must keep going, do it with peace and strength provided by our Lord.