Tiredness and refreshment in Jesus

Few people, if any, have never thought or spoken the words “I’m tired.” It’s a universal part of being human, tiredness creeps up on us all at some time or another. Many things can cause it, and tiredness can manifest itself in different ways and to different extents. Likewise, we all have different ways of addressing tiredness and with differing measures of success. Whether caused by lack of sleep, illness, stress, grief, malnutrition, overworked, depression, medication, or inactivity, tiredness can wear us down. 

Similarly, spiritual tiredness can be very real, and often caused by multiple factors which require attention before refreshment can occur. Isaiah considered this condition and provided simple suggestions which can help. The LORD is an eternal God, the creator of the whole earth. He does not get tired or weary; there is no limit to his wisdom. He gives strength to those who are tired; to the ones who lack power, he gives renewed energy. Even youths get tired and weary; even strong young men clumsily stumble. But those who wait for the LORDʼs help find renewed strength; they rise up as if they had eaglesʼ wings, they run without growing weary, they walk without getting tired (Isaiah 40:28-31 NET).

Isaiah’s point is this, the Lord is infinitely able and willing to meet our needs caused by exhaustion. As always, our right response to God, who is always within our circumstances, makes blessing possible. When fatigued, our senses and reasoning often become dulled, which can cause us to forget our spiritual resources and disciplines in Christ. As with many spiritual difficulties, we simply want tiredness to go away, but it never seems to work out that way.

Isaiah’s central remedy is that those who wait for the LORDʼs help find renewed strength. Some readers may think, “I don’t have time to hang around waiting while there’s so much needing to be done.” But waiting for the LORD is much more than inactively standing idle. Waiting begins with attitude, creating the space in our thoughts to pause and give attention to the Lord’s presence in the moment, in the day, and in the week. Waiting says, I’m ready to align my heart with yours’ Lord. Waiting recognises that we are the tired ones, not God. Waiting acknowledges that Yahweh has the resources we so desperately need, and we can’t take them by force. Waiting exhales independence and inhales awareness of Christ’s sufficiency to meet our needs. Waiting steps aside from the self-imposed pressures and says, I give up pushing, I’m going to lean on the Saviour. Waiting says NO to the things which don’t make it onto the biblical priority list. And waiting says, Lord I’m ready for you to take over everything. Now, and only now, can rest begin the process of refreshment.

Waiting is a decision believers’ need to make every morning, and possibly many times during each day. It’s the core intentional attitude that begins rectifying tiredness. Next, is the simple discipline of considering Jesus, who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted (Hebrews 12:3). Christian, plan Jesus’ thoughts into every day and evening. Read God’s Word. Talk to Him while driving, while on the bus, while in the shower etc. During your breaks at work, read a Christian book, text or call another believer and talk about Christ. Tell a non-believer about the love and salvation of Jesus Christ. Whatever it takes, put Jesus into your thought life. Rectifying spiritual tiredness takes just a little effort, but the refreshing blessing is transformative.

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