I like to work and am a focused person. But I didn't always use wisdom in the way that I handled work.
I used to live with this cycle: I'd get burned-out, then rest, then work really hard and get worn-out again, then finally rest, then work myself to the point of exhaustion, then take a little time off… You get the picture.
Weariness was a routine part of my life!
Weary is defined as "exhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness; having one's patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted." Some symptoms of being weary are losing control of your thoughts and emotions, saying things you regret, an inability to make good decisions, giving up on things, overeating or overspending, being grouchy, feeling sorry for yourself, giving in to temptation, and not enjoying life.
We all get weary sometimes, and we tend to think that life is what makes us weary. But it's not life that makes us weary – it's our approach to life or our attitudes and the way we handle things.
I remember praying so hard for people and circumstances in my life to change. And God told me, "You need to change your approach." While I couldn't change my circumstances, I could change my attitude. The truth is, nobody can make you have a bad attitude if you decide not to have one – you have full authority over your attitude.
I've learned to recognize the symptoms of weariness before they start, so I can do something about it before I get to the point that I need a truckload of Christians to help me out of my mess. The key is crying out to God right away for His help.
God's Answer for Weariness
God's answer is for us to enter His rest. It's the most beautiful place to be! Matthew 11:28 talks about it. In this verse, Jesus says, "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]"
This rest is not a physical rest or a rest from work. I'm not talking about a secret place we can go to get away from everything in the world. The rest Jesus offers is something we experience in our soul while we're in the midst of everything that's going on in our life. It's a rest that helps us deal with things so they can't steal our joy, keep us upset all the time, or ruin our health. We can stay peaceful, no matter what's going on around us.
I call this a "soul vacation." On this "vacation," no matter what's going on, you don't worry about it or try to figure out why or what to do. You ask God for wisdom and wait on Him to show you what to do. Then you do what you can do and don't strive to do what you can't.
We need to go to God in every situation and ask Him for help. The thing that wears us out is trying to handle things on our own, thinking we don't have time to pray. But when we spend time with the Lord, we can be refilled, refueled and refreshed in His love, presence and power. God never grows weary, and one idea from Him can save us hours of wasted effort and emotional turmoil.
When your soul is resting, your emotions are okay, your mind is okay, and your will is at peace with God, not resisting what He's doing. You're not striving to understand everything and instead simply trusting that God is in control, even though you may not know what He's going to do or when He's going to do it.
God never promised us a trouble-free life. But He did promise we could live above it – with His help. As we approach life with trust in God, giving Him control, we'll discover we're stronger than the trials we go through. That's the rest of God!