How you ever been exhausted? Not just tired… exhausted.
On March 16, my wife gave birth to my first child; a beautiful, healthy baby girl named Reagan Arley Wiggins. She is the single greatest thing to happen to me on this side of eternity. Everyone tells you that you do not understand loving others until you have a child, and I totally agree. Reagan has changed how I view love, the world around us, and how I see the goodness of God.
However, there are some things people don’t tell you about… well, warn you about. My wife had a very hard labor, lasting 71 total hours from start to finish. I did not sleep for any of this, except maybe 5-6 hours. For the remainder of our hospital stay, I maybe added 5-6 hours to this total, making my sleep deprivation so real. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 12 hours in 5 days. I was exhausted… emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I was beyond exhausted though… I was weary.
I don’t think there is one person reading this sentence that has never been tired, or beyond that, exhausted. Many of us are constantly on the go, and the first thing we sacrifice to fit more stuff into our day is sleep. We have all been there.
I have some follow up questions: how many of us have felt alone? Discouraged? Broken? Confused? We live in a broken world, so I guarantee you have felt each of these at one time or another, and often times, together. It is inevitable that we will all suffer these feelings eventually.
Too often, we go through our spiritual lives feeling this way; we are weary, but doing nothing about it. We assume this is just how we are supposed to feel, so we just try to shoulder the burden of these feelings without seeking any type of help or solution.
Satan has perpetuated a lie that our culture has bought into, and that is we cannot seek help. We cannot show weakness, so we must fight through the pain, loneliness, anxiety, confusion, restlessness, and brokenness, all while painting a smile on our faces and tell everyone we are okay. Satan does this because he knows that we cannot do life alone. Satan’s greatest attack isn’t to wipe us out quickly, but to isolate us, and destroy our souls slowly.
Jesus, however, desires something else for us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
Doing life alone leaves us weary, and weariness is what will steal our joy, kill our hope, and destroy our souls. Jesus, however, has a different agenda. If we are honest, we know that feeling this way is not the abundant life promised by Jesus. Jesus knows that Satan is out to steal, kill, and destroy, and so He instructs us to identify our weariness, and come to Him with it.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
The reality is this: Jesus came to give us rest. He came to feed our souls with hope, peace, joy, strength, and grace. He came so that we can do life with Him. He has given us His Spirit so that we do not find ourselves alone and vulnerable when Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy. What we need to realize is that this is available, and actually accept it. Success in Spiritual warfare, against the attacks of Satan, is contingent on the feeding of your soul. If you allow yourself to become weary, burdened down by the feelings of loneliness, restlessness, discouragement, confusion, and brokenness, you are choosing to leave yourself vulnerable to Satan’s attacks on your soul.
We must choose to accept what Jesus offers us when we feel this way. We must constantly taste and see that God is good. It is the goodness of God that we rely on when times become tough. We cannot be okay with a malnourished spiritual life. We must understand that our role in this attack from Satan is to turn into Christ fully.
If you’re like me, you know this, but when the time comes, you have a hard time believing or practicing this. I just want you to know that I understand your struggle to trust this promise, and I am right there with you. May the words of Philippians 1:6 encourage you today.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
God will be true to this promise. Jesus came for you to have an abundant life, not to leave you on your own when Satan attacks. Lean into his promise to see you through. He will be your strength. If you are weary, He will give your soul the rest it requires. Lastly, know that you are not alone. I am struggling with this right along side of you. Let us live lives marked by encouraging each other, and daily putting on the faith required to trust this promise of God.
Trust the process. Take your next step. Now is your moment.