Are you tired of being tired?
I was recently talking with a friend, and he said, "Every little thing feels like a chore. I am constantly tired."
Tiredness is common in our time. I am not sure if it's a part of the COVID-19 aftermath or something else.
It may be a part of the devil's plan for limiting the effectiveness of the Christian.
Remember, living life in the natural is limiting. In Genesis, God said man would live by the sweat of his brow and that the ground is cursed. We see the curse when we look out our front window at the yard full of weeds.
And to Adam he said, "Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, 'You shall not eat of it,' cursed is the ground because of you, in pain, you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face, you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, for you are dust, and to dust, you shall return."(Genesis 3:17-19, ESV)
Due to the disobedience of Adam and Eve, God ordered a curse on the ground and heartache on humanity. The sorrow is that our work will be laborious, bead of sweat dripping down our faces.
More than the sweat part, there is unrest in our soul that overrides the difficult parts of our jobs. There is an exhaustion that exceeds how tired we become. And exhaustion is exhausting. The valve of exhaustion shuts off all flow for anything good.
Someone said, "When I am tired, faith is the first thing to leave." How true is that?
What causes fatigue?
Stop the Spin
The world never stops. The news rolls out 24 hours a day. The radio programs continuously air. The billboards shout for attention hours a day. And then there is the phone.
The phone notification noises are enough. The text messages are relentless.
And maybe you are a scroller. When will you stop scrolling your phone?
Have you considered phone fatigue as a possible detractor to your rest?
Continuous scanning is not healthy. The fear of missing out captures our emotions. This phobia (desire) steals our time and robs our destiny.
Carey Nieuwhof says, "Stop endlessly scrolling. Put limits on what you watch."
Proverbs 30:15-16 (NIV) says, "The leech has two daughters. 'Give! Give!' they cry. There are three things that are never satisfied, four that never say, 'Enough!': the grave, the barren womb, land, which is never satisfied with water, and fire, which never says, 'Enough!'"
Some things never say enough. But eventually, fatigue will speak.
Stress says enough when your blood pressure jumps 20 points. Anxiety says enough when you lose your temper, and your emotional IQ is in disarray. Your spouse says enough when your fatigue negatively affects the family. And your body says enough when you are on the edge of burnout.
Is this what your life resembles?
I hope you are doing the introspection here.
Rest is not natural.
We will strive to find rest. I know that sounds like the perfect oxymoron.
That is what God said: "Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience" (Heb. 4:11, ESV).
God knows that rest is unnatural, especially in the United States, where one of our American idols is "the grind."
Wayne Muller said, "Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing—anything—is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet ever-growing expectations, we do not rest."
We go, go, go until we cannot go any longer. We skip the necessary and go for the urgent.
We choose the fridge over the gym.
We choose busy work over prayer.
We choose cleaning over reading.
We skip the nap and keep grinding.
Wrong choices keep us tired.
The reason we make these choices is that fueling work feels more significant than refueling our bodies.
What new choices could you make that would facilitate better rest?
A Better Way
Martin Luther said, "The spiritual rest, which God particularly intends is this: that we not only cease from our labor and trade, but much more, that we let God alone work in us and that we do nothing of our own with all our powers."
God's intention for the sabbath is to disengage from work and worship Him.
As New Testament believers, we are not living to rest; we are living from rest.
Living from rest means we are living by faith. Faith is the spiritual oxygen of the spirit-filled life.
"They just live by faith" (Rom. 1:17b, NKJV).
Faith is the way that believers face every struggle and challenge.
Our faith is in God and not in ourselves; this in itself is a type of sabbath.
This faith life is the highest expression of rest.
When faith is active, rest is present.
"For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his works as God did from his. Let us, therefore, strive to enter that rest so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience" (Heb.4:8-11, ESV).
There is a rest for our generation. A sign that we have rest is that we are not doing our own thing. We rest from our works.
We do not take our life into our own hands.
We wait on answers from the Lord.
We trust the Lord when trust escapes us.
Yes, we find our rest in and through God the Father.
Jesus said, our rest is "in Him."
"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matt. 11:28-30, NKJV).
Jesus said, "I will give you rest."
Yes, a good night's sleep will rest your body, and a nap will reboot your day, but ultimate rest comes from faith in God. The kind of faith that causes us to stop trusting in our work and trust in the God who gives us rest.
Where do we find rest?
"My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress; I will never be shaken" (Ps. 62:1-2, NIV).
Thomas McDaniels is a husband, pastor, dad and grandfather. He is also a public speaker, author and podcast host. Listen to his podcast, 5-Fold Unplugged, on Charisma Podcast Network. Thomas has written for Church Leaders and currently writes for Charisma Media outlets. Thomas is the founder of lifebridge.tv and the guy behind thomasmcdaniels.com. You can find Thomas on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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