Sleep on the job?

Have you ever just been tired?

Sometimes the weight of our lives can become so heavy we feel bogged down and out-of-sync. Things that were once easy begin to be difficult, and we might even find ourselves becoming distant from people and things that we care about.

Sure, it’s easy to just quote 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” The fact-of-the-matter is, though, that quoting and doing are two very different things.

Well, I think this is the point where I am in my life.

I cannot really say that I feel stressed or that I am burdened by difficult life circumstances. On the contrary, especially from the outside looking in, life is good right now; in fact, things are going quite well.

Professionally, avenues have opened themselves up for stability and increased financial flexibility. In ministry, I have found my footing and am operating in capacities where my gifts are being utilized and cultivated.

So, what is the problem? Can this feeling be attributed to a lack of companionship?

Not really. It would be nice to have someone, but, quite honestly, it is probably not the best time (I can barely keep up with myself, yet alone a whole other person). Besides, I do have the love and devotion of close friends (Job 6:14).

However, some recurring issues continue to drain me emotionally. Well-documented struggles in my family life have persisted from my adolescence until the present day.

Much like the woman with the issue of blood, it seems as if this issue is a never-ending saga. On the contrary, it does not appear that the situation will change immediately like it did for this woman of faith (Mark 5:29). I am sure there are those who can relate.

If no one else, Jesus can certainly identify with continual family struggles. The unbelief of his family members in his mission was a constant throughout his ministry.

Near the onset, Jesus’ family members tried to dissuade him from his evangelistic pursuits. Mark’s gospel provides us with this account:

Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind” (3:20-21).

Near the conclusion of his earthy ministry, these attitudes evidently did not progress. Jesus receives rather sarcastic criticism from his siblings regarding his attendance at the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, after which John records, “For even his own brothers did not believe in him” (John 7:5).

I also find myself becoming weary in my service to the Church.

There are times where I feel overextended and, frankly, just want people to stop calling my name; I do not want to be depended upon or given any responsibility, but just to be left alone.

I realize that being “tired” does not give me the right to shirk responsibilities or neglect my gifts, no matter how I may feel about them at the moment. In the end, it is simply not about me.

One thing that I really thank God for is the fact that Jesus can relate to me—what an awesome thing! Just as he took part in the human experience (Hebrews 2:14), Jesus certainly had times where he grew tired and weary. An account I love to recall when I am hit with the case of “leave-me-alones” is in the first chapter of Mark.

Jesus, after teaching in a Sabbath-day synagogue service, where he also cast out a demon, comes to the house of Simon and Andrew to enjoy a private meal with his friends. While there, he actually heals Simon’s mother-in-law from a fever, after which she begins to wait on them.

At this point, Jesus is surely enjoying being served, partaking in a meal and just being able to relax for the moment.

Then, the account continues with the whole town bringing the sick and demon-possessed to Simon and Andrew’s doorstep that evening. Guess what happened…Jesus healed their sick and drove out their demons!

It seems like he can never catch a break, always finding himself being interrupted. How does he do it? The solution is found in the ensuing verse.

Mark 1:35 reads, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

The only way that Jesus could maintain the frantic pace he kept in ministering to masses was to have that alone time with God. It was such a priority for him that he carved out time very early in the morning to leave and find a place.

In fact, Luke 5:16 records, “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”

Having a busy schedule without time for prayer, regardless of how many good deeds are on the agenda, is an easy way to run into a rut—a rut in which I have certainly fallen prey.

As my prayer and fellowship time has taken a hit, my joy seems to have gone right along with it; after all, David writes, “you will fill me with joy in your presence” (Psalm 16:11).

This is perhaps best illustrated in the story of Mary and Martha.

Jesus comes to the home of the sister’s of Lazarus along with his disciples. Luke tells us that Mary “sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said” (Luke 10:39), while Martha “was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made” (10:40a).

Martha then makes a request of Jesus in frustration, saying, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” (10:40b).

Jesus’ simple response is as follows:

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (10:41-42)

As we concentrate too heavily on the peripheral things in life, even the things we may be doing for God, we also become frustrated. It is in those times where we have to go back to our source, Jesus Christ himself.

Though Martha was frustrated, she took her frustrations to Jesus. In turn, Christ, once engaged in dialogue with Martha, was presumably able to calm her (calling her name twice) and give her much needed instruction.

From Jesus’ own mouth, Martha learned that the solution to her problem was not what she supposed. It was not help that she needed, but fellowship with the Lord of lords.

Ultimately, the solution to all our struggles comes through prayer, because God responds with a resolution and preservation.

It is worth mentioning that taking a break is completely acceptable and, oftentimes, needed. After all, Luke says that Mary “sat,” denoting a position of stillness and rest. She was, however, at the Lord’s feet during this rest period.

Vacations are nice getaways, but without alone time with God, it will only go so far. Not only does the body need to be attended to, but the soul and spirit.

Once it is time to get up, it is surely time to get up—there is work to be done.

Jesus, after his early morning hiatus, is once again confronted with the realities of his life and ministry. When the disciples find Jesus, they exclaim, “Everyone is looking for you!” (Mark 1:37).

Having been refreshed by his fellowship with the Father, Jesus is able to embrace the demands of the work God has set before him:

Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons. (Mark 1:38-39)


~ by christianballenger on July 30, 2012.

2 Responses to “Tired”

  1. Hello Christian,

    Now I understand! Love you favorite!

  2. Love the flow of the message with direct relation to your emotions. Great read for anyone who doesn’t prioritises alone time with God… especially people like me! Thanks for the post.

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