of the hardest things in which to
adjust when one is diagnosed with
a chronic illness is the fatigue
that accompanies it. It is an exhaustion
that I had never experienced until
I was diagnosed with a chronic illness
a few years ago. I was relieved
to be diagnosed, believing that
having a name for my fatigue and
pain would validate those days when
I move a little slower at work.
I hoped that people would stop saying,
"Smile!" or "You sure look tired
today." If I tried to explain that
my illness tended to make me tired,
they would respond, "Oh, I'm tired
too. I had a late night." Is there
any way to explain that my tired
is different than their tired?
word exhaust is from the Latin root
word, which means "to draw out."
We may often experience that feeling
of being "used up" or "having nothing
left." It's scary when you realize
that you may likely never have the
kind of energy you once did.
just because we may be tired
does not mean that we are weak
or ineffective in our ministry
for God. He can work through
us even when we are exhausted.
So, what do we do when we just
can't do it all?
We can accept the help of others.
When we are used to doing it all
for ourselves and others too, it's
difficult to ask for help or to
accept it when it's offered. We
need to let go of finding our value
in what we can accomplish for ourselves
(like how big a dinner party we
can throw and how much of the house
we can clean). Instead, we need
to consider what God wants us to
the Israelite army was attacked
by the Amalekites, (Exodus 17: 8-15)
Moses said he would stand on top
of the hill with the staff of God
in his hands. As long as Moses held
his hands up to God, the Israelites
were winning, but when he let them
fall, the Amalekites began to win.
So was Moses able to pull through
the long hours holding up his hands?
Not without the help of Aaron and
Moses' hands grew tired, they took
a stone and put it under him and
he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held
his hands up-one on one side, one
on the other-so that his hands remained
steady till sunup" (v. 12). God's
power was flowing through the fingertips
of Moses, and yet God still allowed
Moses' arms to become tired. Was
that so Moses had to accept help?
What would have happened if Moses
had said, "Don't worry about it,
guys. I can handle it. Go on down
the hill and I'll come later when
I finish this battle." God was able
to work through Moses when Moses
accepted the help of others.
Know that true strength comes only
from God. "He gives strength
to the weary and increases the power
of the weak. Even youths grow tired
and weary, and young men stumble
and fall, but those who hope in
the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
(Isaiah 40: 29-31).
I was talking with a friend the
other day, she remarked how, before
her illness, she was an extremely
busy person, on the go wanting to
do it all and more. God has slowed
her down. She has been forced to
change her lifestyle, and yet she
has grown closer to God because
of it. When God gives strength to
the weary, he doesn't promise where
we will feel that strength. It may
be in our relationship with him
or others and not in our body. Only
He knows what is perfect and what
we truly need.
We can realize that God is able
to work in our lives despite our
exhaustion. One of the most
often-told bible stories is of Jesus
talking with the Samaritan woman
at the well. She became a believer
and left to follow Jesus. Her testimony
to others brought many people to
God. How did Jesus meet this woman?
"Jesus was tired from his journey
and sat down by the well." (v. 6).
Even Jesus became tired. He wanted
to sit down to rest and have some
water, and God used His son's fatigue
to bring many people to know Him.
God can use us under any circumstances
if we will allow him the opportunity.
It may not be in the way we would
like. We probably won't have a bungy
jumping ministry, but God will work
out His plan for our lives in His
timing. It's just so hard to wait
and see what that plan is!
We need to take comfort in the fact
that God never tires. Thank
goodness we have such a wonderful
God, and that He will never grow
weary. You may remember as a child,
your father coming home from a long
day at work. He would walk in the
door looking tired, but as soon
as you ran through the house, yelling,
"Daddy's home! Daddy's home!" his
weary eyes would begin to sparkle,
and soon he had plenty of energy
to play until you went to bed. We
all have those days where we want
to put the covers over our head
and not get up. Some of us have
days where we would like to get
up, but our broken bodies won't
allow it. We must stay put.
During these times, it's especially
comforting to know that our God
will never be bedridden; He will
never put the covers over His head
and say, "I can't deal with my children
today." "The Lord God is the everlasting
God, the creator of the ends of
the earth. He will not grow tired
or weary." (Isaiah 40: 28). When
I am truly tired, my eyes crave
darkness and stillness; my body
longs for the warm comforts of my
the hardest thing to accept is that
even if these longings are fulfilled,
I will still awake wishing for more
sleep, never feeling refilled. Spiritually,
however, I can be filled by going
to God and asking for His comfort,
His strength, and the renewal of
my spirit. When I go to the Father
and am filled with his peace, I
can find rest that no amount of
sleep will ever replace. "I will
lie down and sleep in peace, for
you alone, O Lord, make me dwell
in safety." (Psalm 4:8).