Devotional Thought of the Day:
16 We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. 17 These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. 18 Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That’s why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (CEV)
Anxious to serve his Master, he finds his strength unequal to his zeal: his constant cry is, “Help me to serve thee, O my God.” If he be thoroughly active, he will have much labour; not too much for his will, but more than enough for his power, so that he will cry out, “I am not wearied of the labour, but I am wearied in it.”
There are days when every pastor, every worship leader, every elder and layperson that serves and attends church are tired. Sometimes we let that tiredness turn to exhaustion and without a sabbath, we will burn out, and crash and burn.
Our friends and family may witness it… they may be victims of it!
We want to do good, we have a burning need to serve the people of God, to make a difference in their life, by revealing the love of God. Work, that if we are tired, may seem futile, like we aren’t impacting people’s lives, that they are not growing in their dependence on Jesus. When they walk away or need the same lesson for thirty-fifth time, or look to other sources,
The dissonance that Spurgeon mentions is an incredible reality.
The way he describes the cry of despair deeply resonates with me.
I am not weary of the work, I love it, I need it. But doing it can devour our energy, our strength, our hope… and sometimes, we get confused by our exhaustion, and its cause.
To those of us in this situation, carefully reading Paul’s words to a tired church helps.
The strength he describes despite our tiredness. In fact, it may require our being tired, lacking the energy of our own, and dependent on God to simply keep going. Paul directs us not to put one more step in front of the other, but rather to look to Jesus. To look to the point He guarantees the rest that comes from when we enter the presence of the Father.
With eyes fixed on Christ, the burdens don’t disappear, the discomfort and weariness still are there, and yet, somehow, their impact on us lessens. and the blessings of seeing God at work is magnified. For those things we see Him doing become the blessing we so need.
It is then we find that kneeling at the altar, in prayer, and in receiving the Body and Blood of Jesus becomes so amazing, and those moments, the greatest moments of peace, of rest, or restoration.
So contrary to the normal thought, the idea of rest found away from the ministry. Rather, rest is found in the ministry. Not in the meetings, or the casting of vision. Not in the administration of programs and in training, comforting and disciplining people.
But in the gathering of God’s people into His presence, to be assured of His love, and His presence. He heals and nurtures us, as He declares we are His, and then proceeds to prove that we are righteous, as the Holy Spirit cleanses and transforms us into the very image of Jesus. Showing us the love we cannot explain, can only experience as we plunge its immeasurable dimensions.
That’s where we find the tiredness of being on this mission field evaporate, leaving us with the mission we will never tire of.
Find rest my friends, at the altar, in the prayers, and in the Body and Blood broken and shed for you and I. AMEN!
C. H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening: Daily Readings (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1896).