No Rest for the Weary.. or is there?
"Let us not grow weary in doing good"
It was several years ago when I looked at my life and realized I was completely weary. I was happy and had no complaints.. but my day to day, ordinary, being a mom, wife, pastor, friend was a great amount of work.. and there were very few places in my life where my effort seemed to pay off.
Change a diaper and nobody says thank you.. clean the house and in an hour it will be messy again.. pray each day and practicing patience in the midst of irritable people... and guess what, no awards are handed out for being a good person. It became clear that I was weary. Completely worn out by trying to do good. That's when I realized that to walk in faith means seasons of loneliness where the strength comes not from human words, but the Word of God growing in my heart. I discovered the encouraging Spirit of God to sustain me.. and I realized that people all around us need encouragement on our faith journey.
A faith journey can be tiring because we don't always see changes taking place. We pray about investing our energy into a ministry.. and then people don't appreciate it.. or the needs are so great, our efforts seem futile. We extend kindness and have our hearts broken. We practice trust, and discover we are being cheated. Each of these moments we can grow weary and become cynical. I definitely grew cynical in those years as well.
The words of Paul to the Galatians are encouraging. Evidently, this experience of discouragement is not a modern phenomenon. Anyone who seeks to walk in faith each day will face adversity. It takes commitment to keep to the daily work of self-discipline, patience, kindness to others. And our commitment can't be dependent on seeing results. If we are waiting for a thank-you, we may wait a life time. Like a farmer who plants a crop, know that our work will take time before it will produce a bountiful harvest.
If you are weary in doing good, know that you are in good company. Great spiritual leaders across the centuries also had times of weariness. Even Jesus himself. If you find yourself disheartened, then you are on the path and it is time to refocus. Paul refocuses us on the big picture, that God is the one who is doing all things, and we are to humbly trust in the process.
Like a farmer, we must not expect a harvest when we are still just in the season of planting. We must wait.. and a spiritual posture of waiting is where God strengthens us.
"Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58).