A Good Exhaustion

Posted on November 12, 2013 by


BibleAs we move through the fall season of ministry, there can be a vast array of feelings and thoughts that we experience. Jubilation.  Frustration.  Joy. Longing for Rest.  The pace from the start of school through Thanksgiving can really affect our hearts and minds.  It’s natural to get to a point of exhaustion and sense a need to slow down and escape.  However, the calendar and responsibilities of life don’t let us simply walk away like we might want to.

Surely, in these Fall seasons, we are poured out.  Each year for me, there is a level of tiredness and worn-outness that comes from serving at this pace for 8-10 weeks.  It’s natural to get tired under the burden of so much that’s happening.  But tiredness is acceptable when the receiver of our sacrifice is Jesus.  If I can simply remember that all my energy and devotion is being given to Him – then my frustration and longings can be transformed into joy.

Psalm 112 is helpful here.  Maybe it will encourage you:

Psalm 112: 1-9

Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.

Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their hornwill be lifted high in honor.

I think a key to recapturing joy can be found in verse 9:  “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor…”  The writer begins this concept in verse 5:  “Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,” and then we see it repeated in verse 9.   When the church prays this Psalm responsively, the response from the congregation is:  “Blessed is the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.”  As I reflected on this Psalm and the liturgical response, I am reminded that my “work” this Fall has been an act of “lending to those in need.”  The righteousness and grace that we receive in Christ should strengthen our hearts so that instead of retreating in fear, we are moved toward others in generosity. In the midst of busy schedules and tiresome days, we must never lose sight of why we are pouring ourselves out.

Remember….We are giving time and attention to a lonely kid…for Jesus.  We are listening to a leader’s hurts…for Jesus.  We are signing-up a kid for camp…for Jesus.  We are praying for a group of kids in the stands…for Jesus.  We are seeing visions of more families touched by Christ…for Jesus.  We are “lending to those in need”…for Jesus.  If it’s for Jesus, then there should be blessing and joy in the midst of exhaustion.  If it’s not for Jesus, then what is it for?