Are You Tired?
Today I have the pleasure of having one of my new Author friends, Shelly Benoit Hendricks share an encouraging message with you. I asked Shelly to share a devotional with you that touched me from her book, You’re Chronically Ill: Now What?
Let me tell you a little about Shelly. She has lived with chronic illness for many years, and knows about depending on God for her strength while encouraging others on this journey. Shelly has also written two other devotionals:
~ For those who care for one who is critically ill, Your Loved One is Ill: So Now What?
~ For the chronically ill who struggle with depression and despair, Hopeless
Even if you may not be chronically ill, my guess is you are tired and worn out from continually dealing with some hardship(s) in your life. Read this through the lens of the challenges in your life.
Are You Tired?
Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. (1 Kings 19:4, NLT)
I’m tired. Are you tired?
I’m tired of always having to think about the way each small decision will affect me now and in the immediate future. I’m tired of the energy it takes just to get out of bed every day. I’m tired of the roller coaster. I’m tired of the draining maintenance on a body that hardly seems worth the effort anymore.
With even the smallest things, those that most people take for granted, health must be factored in. Pain must be considered. Long-term impact must be weighed. Even in the blessings we have. Even in the autonomic systems that most people are never even aware of going on in their body.
The nature of chronic illness is that it is a part of everything, even the blessings, so it’s not like you can ever just take a break and get your mind off of your troubles!
Elijah felt this way. He had enough. He was tired. Bone tired. And do you know what word God had for him in that moment? Not a one.
The scripture goes on to tell us that Elijah slept. An angel woke him gently and showed him that God had provided bread and water for him. Not just that… the bread was warm. Yeah, that’s how He rolls. He won’t wake you to feed you just any old mush. His bread will be warm and soothing to your belly, and His water will quench and refresh.
What did Elijah do then? Slept some more. Never underestimate the power of a good nap. Later, the angel woke him and he fed again. God knew what journey was ahead of him and he gave Elijah enough nourishment to get him to the mountaintop.
On that mountaintop, Elijah listed his complaints to God. God listened. God asked questions that would engage him. And God came, as a gentle whisper, to talk with him face to face.
Are you tired? God doesn’t expect you to keep going, Sweet One. God doesn’t say, “Suck it up, wimp, we still have a long way to go.” God doesn’t remind you of all the blessings He’s given you, as if they could somehow erase the pain of right now. He doesn’t ask you to paint a smile on and pretend you’re doing fine.
He provides a tree and a cave for you in the wilderness. He gently wakes you to fill your weary heart with warm bread and wash your parched hands with cool water. He meets you face to face, nods understandingly at your retelling. He leads you with a gentle whisper, but only after you’ve power-napped a few times while He keeps watch through the night.
Your God understands what this journey takes out of you. He knows how desperate some days can feel. He’s provided for those moments, so don’t feel bad about admitting the need for them.
Come and rest with me. It’s okay. Lay it down for just a bit. Come and rest.
Thank You. For everything You are, and everything You allow us to be. Refresh us during this time, as we come to You for rest.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen…
Let’s Go Deeper:
- What is tiring you out?
- How badly do you just need to really rest?
- Write here a verse that helps you to welcome the rest God offers.
- What is one thing you can do, today, to take an intentional rest?
These words from Shelly helped me feel God’s understanding and compassion for what I’m going through…and His invitation to Rest. How did your heart respond to her words? Please share your comments below…
I would highly recommend all of Shelly’s devotionals…even if you don’t struggle with Chronic Illness. Most of us are tired from dealing with ongoing chronic stresses. You’ll find comfort and understanding here.
To find out more about Shelly and read her blog, visit http://RenewedDaily.com Thanks so much Shelly!!!
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