Most parents know when their children are over-tired and are heading toward a major melt-down. Similarly, preschool teachers know the classic signs of an exhausted child who is desperately trying to avoid a nap. Giggles and laughter morph into manic cackles. A carrot accidentally touching meat on the dinner plate causes a temper tantrum of epic proportions. Kids on the brink of falling asleep on their feet race around the household or classroom at breakneck speeds; crashing into walls, furniture, siblings, and small pets. The dark circles under a sleep-deprived preschooler’s eyes remind their parents of the stylised sad waif paintings of the 1970s. And yet, if asked, the sleep-deprived child will stridently proclaim, “I’m not tired! I’m just busy!” Most toddler’s share the same motto. “Rest is for wimps!”
If you find yourself running around in circles, and being pulled back and forth in a dozen directions; maybe it is time to take a deep breath and slow down. If you find yourself irritated and put out by the seeming lack of appreciation you receive from others for ‘all you do for them,’ perhaps it’s time for you to step back and consider your motivation behind that ‘doing for others.’
Still your heart; listen for God’s guidance. He specialises in bringing order from chaos, and God sees the big picture. Our heavenly Father does not hide His intentions from those who diligently seek Him. He brings rest to the weary soul, and he’s probably calling you to rest.
It’s hard to hear what God is saying when exhaustion clouds our thinking and dulls our spirits. God does not delight when his children crash and burn. Nowhere in the Bible does God condone burnout. Those who consider burning the candle at both ends an achievement usually end up not only burning themselves but scorching all those around them with their temper.
Here are a few scriptures to reflect on if you ever find yourself caught up in a whirlwind of your own making. Be encouraged! God is our resting place in the storm, even if the tempest is of our own making. He will calm the seas and dispel chaos if we ask and if we follow Jesus’ example – find peace amid the storm.
Psalm 127:1-2 – “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.”
Isaiah 30:15 – “For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
Lamentations 3:24-26 – “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”
Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG) -” Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2019 Katherine Walden
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