Guest post by Rebecca VanDeMark
Yesterday, I walked out of my bedroom, carrying my IV that I was doing an infusion with, to grab some more water to take some additional meds. I was exhausted walking the short distance; I sighed as I filled up my cup at the sink. Looking out the window, I glanced across the street at our neighbors’ house and noticed activity in the front yard. Less than a minute later, it became obvious that in the snow, my neighbors were trying to construct a ramp from their driveway to their stairs. As I stood there watching, it started to rain and I watched these three people struggle to construct a huge ramp.
My dad joined me in the kitchen and asked what I was looking at. I expressed concern that something serious had happened to one of our neighbors or one of their twin daughters. My dad stood for maybe less than a second before he put on his winter coat and shoes and headed out the door to see if he could help. I stood there watching with tears. There was a real part of me that was genuinely concerned about my neighbors, but to be honest I also had this need to scream, I can’t handle anymore. I just can’t handle anymore!!
Maybe, like me, you are feeling exhausted and weary and wanting to scream that you are at your limit. I am not exactly sure what happened, but between political debates, a series of setbacks in my own health, and numerous difficult and heart-breaking situations in the lives around me, I have started to feel weary of this world and all of its pain. I find at the end of the day praying more for strength then ever before and I find that there are often times that I am saying, I will pray for you but not exactly knowing how to pray for those who are struggling in my life.
In this past week alone several dear couples I know heard that one of them was going to be laid off from their jobs. Other dear friends continue to walk the heart-wrenching road of infertility and have been waiting years for an answer to their hearts’ cry and desire. Another friend longs to be married and to be a mama and continues to see others blessed with her heart’s deepest longing. Another couple that I know has a 2-year old son who was just diagnosed with Leukemia. Another friend was just told the hard news of a cancer diagnosis. Another friend just lost her batter with an illness she has been fighting for a couple of years. I have young mama friends who are crying from exhaustion, and older friends struggling with another bout of the flu. So many people in my tribe are struggling financially, emotionally, and spiritually; the weight of it all threatens to crush my tired shoulders.
What do we do when we long to reach out and engage others with the love of God but struggle under the deep fatigue of the hard that seems to crush us in this difficult world? Here is what I am learning in these deep fatigue moments: Take one moment at a time…gently taking the moment before me that the Lord has given, and rest in Him. Rest in who He is. Rest in His goodness. Rest in His strength. Give what I am resting in to the world before me. Not the strength that I contrive—because goodness knows right now that I really don’t have any to give—but to share with others what I receive from the time that I spend with the Lord.
In doing this, I am seeing the world more like my dad does. He sees something in front of him and he wants to help because he has spent so much time with the Lord. He spends hours upon hours reading the Bible and praying; in doing so, his strength comes from Him. He doesn’t draw his strength from himself but from the Lord.
And when we do that—when we rest in the Lord’s strength—we receive the best of each other and we have the best to give to others. Scripture says, Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29) How true this beautiful scripture is, for as I go to the Lord, He gives rest and refreshment even in the weariest of days.
If you are feeling fatigued under the set of circumstances before you, I encourage you to take the weariness to the Lord. For it is there that you will find grace to meet you in the most difficult times. Last year Blythe wrote a beautiful post on the truth that we can’t draw out of the weariness ourselves, but we can find grace to meet us today. If you are weary from grief from the past or what the beginning of this new year has held, I pray that you will join me in looking at the days before us that the Lord has given us and resting in His promise of truth that we can come and rest in Him and He will give us grace and rest.
Rebecca VanDeMark is an author, speaker, and blogger who loves Jesus, life, and the miracle of hope. Rebecca is the author of December Caravan, and several other previous books including Praying through Lyme Disease and Path of Hope. Rebecca is the founder of Grace Engaged, a ministry to high school women, and Lyme Caravan Foundation, an organization that helps Lyme disease patients and their families. Rebecca holds degrees from Cedarville University, Regent University, and American University. Before fighting health issues Rebecca worked in Washington, DC, with two non-profit organizations and later taught high school history and Bible classes for seven years. Rebecca loves celebrating the beauty of the ordinary each day as she fights Advanced Late Stage Lyme Disease in addition to other health issues. She lives with her family, splitting time between the sweet south and upstate New York. Rebecca can be found at her personal website or on her blog.