Have you ever been bone-tired, sigh-worthy, weary to the depths of your soul? I think we all get like this at one point or another. This is even truer for those living with a chronic illness or the caregiver of someone who is sick.
I was reminded of this the other week when I was playing with my nephews. For those who don’t know, I have three wild, very rambunctious nephews who are my pride and joy. Nothing brings me greater joy than being fun Aunt Erin, so I do my best to play with them whenever I get the chance, but that’s not always easy when you live with three chronic illnesses.
My nephews are incredibly understanding when it comes to my needing to take a break from playing and resting for a moment. But that doesn’t change the fact that I try to be as active as I can with them. I don’t want their memories of me to be sitting on a couch and watching TV. So we go outside, play ball, water games, and even the occasional game of tag. Of all the games my nephews like to play, nothing wears me out more than trying to catch three wild monkeys racing around the yard. It never takes long for me to start huffing and puffing like an out of shape asthmatic dragon. And without fail, whenever the boys return home after visiting, I immediately crash. My energy reserves are gone, and not even a huge chocolate bar and 16-ounce cup of coffee will make me get off my couch.
Just as we can become physically exhausted, we can also become this way emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Personally, I’ve experienced this several times over the past thirteen years of living with lupus, Crohns, and fibromyalgia. It’s easy to become soul weary when you’re fighting a daily battle like an illness. When our defenses are down physically, it’s easy to become lackadaisical and apathetic towards life. Life becomes common, and we can quickly lose the desire to persevere. In essence, we become stuck.
The Jews experienced this during the time leading up to Jesus’ birth. From the days of Malachi until Jesus was born, the Israelites endured 400 years of silence from God. Although He didn’t abandon them, He also didn’t communicate with them. And as time went on, more and more people gave up hope the long awaited Messiah would ever come. They became weary.
More often than not, we too become weary and give up hope God will ever intervene in our lives. We think because He doesn’t operate in our timetable or answer our prayers the way we want, that He doesn’t care. We give up hope of things ever changing in our lives. Yet we miss so much when we do this. Because we allow ourselves to give up, we miss seeing God at work.
In Luke 2:25 we are told Simeon was in the temple waiting to see the Savior because God had promised him he would. Every time I read this, I’m amazed by the faith Simeon had to have. By all outward appearances God wasn’t working. Yet Simeon chose to cling to the promise God made, and God was faithful. Christ would have come even if Simeon had given up, but think of the blessing he would have missed!
The same can be said for us. No matter what is happening in our lives, no matter how dismal things appear, God is always at work. He doesn’t abandon us in our time of need, but we have to hold on and not give up, no matter how weary we may be. We are not left to our own devices when problems come. We have a Savior! He is waiting with open arms for you and me.
Can you see Him? Are you paying attention?
“I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber.” ~ Psalm 121:1-3