I'm talking about the tired that you just can't explain. The tired that you feel when life just doesn't seem to be going the way you thought it would. The tired that makes you wonder why you are doing what you're doing each day, wondering is all the effort really worth it. The tired that just zaps your motivation and makes you want to chunk everything and start over...only you're not really sure what you'd do if you started over.
Lately I've had a moment or two of that kind of tired. It doesn't make much sense and you can't seem to talk yourself out of it. What you need is some encouragement from God, something that lets you know you're on the right track after all.
This week, my son had just such encouragement come his way. Levi has been training for months, hoping for a chance to play quarterback. Every day he runs, works with weights, and spends hours throwing a football through a small hoop in the yard. I have never seen such dedication in a 14 year old. But even with that dedication, I have seen in his eyes and heard in his voice that he was getting "tired." No matter how hard he tries, the coach keeps him on defense; and to be honest my son seems to be getting discouraged. There is nothing like discouragement to make you just plain TIRED.
I had tried to encourage my son. I tried to explain that the coach must do what's best for the team and he is NEEDED on defense, but you know, hearing things like this from your mom when you feel like your dream is dying doesn't really help all that much. I mean, after all - she's MOM! What could she possibly know?
Yesterday, however, I think my son got a word of encouragement that made a difference - because he felt it was from God. As he was running, he started thinking "Why am I doing this? Why am I working so hard and no one cares? Is it worth it? Is it worth spending hours training? I really need a sign that all this is not in vain." (Okay, I'm not sure Levi used a phrase like "in vain" but the idea was the same.)
As he continued on his run, an older gentleman who lives in our neighborhood stopped him. He said he'd been watching him train every day and he was really impressed with all his hard work. Then he went on to say that he was getting his grandson a helmet for his birthday and it was going to be signed by Brett Farve....and he wanted my son to sign it too. Wow.
Levi talked to him for a few more minutes and then continued on with his run...but there was something different. Hope had now returned to his run. That "tired" had been replaced with a reason to run. He'd gotten encouragement from God.
I don't know how many of us are "tired" right now. Sometimes the journey can be long. We feel like we're on about mile 20 of a marathon and we're wondering why we started this run to begin with...wondering if we're really on the right track. Maybe we need to do like my son did...maybe we need to confess our frustration and take our "tired" to God and just ask for the encouragement to go on. God knows exactly what we need to put the spring back into our step...we just have to ask. Nehemiah said, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8.10). David said to the Lord, “In Your presence is fullness of joy” (Psalm 16.11). When we get into the presence of the Lord we will find all the strength and encouragement we need.
Happy running my friends.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
3-5All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.
35 A terrible beauty, O God,
streams from your sanctuary.
It's Israel's strong God! He gives
power and might to his people!
O you, his people—bless God!
4Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: "It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God's mouth."