Redeeming Tiredness

Redeeming Tiredness

by A Constable

Work on schemes is tiring. The people we deal with everyday have some sort of drug or alcohol dependency and/or one or more mental issues.  When you are building a relationship with someone from that kind of background you aren’t going to be asked very often how you’re doing? The relationship, at least to begin with, is very one sided as you sew into their lives. We are counsellors, friends and disciplers all at the same time. This can be physically, spiritually and emotionally tiring work. Every person to some degree or another suffers with tiredness – it’s a result of the fall. And people often react to tiredness in two ways. Either they say look how busy I am (pointing to their sense of worth) or people want sympathy (attention seeking). As Christians I think there is a more Godly way to react to tiredness. We need to redeem it. I’ve got four ways I think the Bible teaches us to do this.

Firstly, tiredness is a blessing because it reveals our sinful hearts. We often use tiredness as a reason to be grumpy, or short tempered, or bitter towards someone else. This is not a legitimate excuse. We can’t simply excuse our sinful behaviour by blaming it on tiredness.  When the heat of life happens our sin comes to the forefront and actually reveals what’s deep down in our hearts. Jesus talks about this in Luke 6:43-45: No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognised by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn-bushes, or grapes from briers. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Jesus points out to us that our mouths reveal our hearts. This is what happens when we are tired. The problems of our hearts are revealed. Therefore we need to not let tiredness be an excuse to get ratty with people but think about what sin is there and repent of it. We have to take responsibility for our sin.

Secondly tiredness helps us to rely on the grace of God all the more! Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 12:9 and 10: “…But he said to me, ‘My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’…For when I am weak then I am strong.” God’s grace is sufficient for us. Paul wrote this about a thorn in the flesh he was experiencing that made him weak. But he said that in this weakness he was in fact stronger. When things are going well we are self-dependent. When we are tired and have no more strength we see our human frailties and our need to rely on our Almighty Father for strength. It is a time where we see out limits but we see how limitless God is. We should be dependent on his grace to sustain us at all times but we become acutely aware of it when we are tired.

Linked with this tiredness reminds us to pray. The day after a hectic day of ministry, calling his first disciples, driving out evil spirits and healing many, Jesus decides to pray. He doesn’t have a long lie in but he got up early to be with his heavenly Father. He went away to be in desolation and prayed. The tiredness of life points us again to our need of Him. Our need to be constantly abiding and relying In Him through prayer. We need his grace. We need his strength to fight sin. We need his love to sustain us. And weakness drives us to our knees to find Him!

Thirdly tiredness reminds us that God is near. The Bible constantly teaches us that the lowly, broken, crushed and humble are close to God not the strong and proud. The Psalmist writes: “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Spiritual and physical tiredness draws us closer to God as we are reminded of his nearness. God comforts, sustains and strengthens those who are weak and tired. He draws near to them.

Finally tiredness reminds us that we need to rest but one day we will not! Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 4:17 “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” In our fast paced, consumerist society we forget that there is an eternity to come. We make our home on earth when our real home is in heaven. But tiredness reminds us that there is place of rest to come. Tiredness directs our gaze to the place without the curse – heaven. And we should rejoice because on earth we will tire, we will face heartache for the gospel but it is all worth it because one day we will be in glory where we will rest in the shelter of the Almighty forever. What a hope! What a promise!

Let us redeem our tiredness. Don’t use it as an excuse to sin but to repent. Allow it to move you from self-dependence to reliance on God through prayer. Remember that God draws near to the crushed in spirit. And focus your attention on the rest to come!