February 9, 2011

Spiritual Exhaustion

Isaiah 40 has always been one of my favorite areas of scripture, reminding me that God is faithful, trustworthy, and the One who supplies my needs and meets me where I am. This morning I was reminded in verse 28 that the Lord "does not faint or grow weary". But I was also hit with the realization that, while He does not, I do. Sometimes, spiritually, I feel like I'm ready to drop. I know what it means to "grow weary". He doesn't. I do. But when I do, I know that He is there and that His grace and strength and supply are sufficient for me. This is why Isaiah explicitly tells us that "He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength." Are you weary? Spiritually exhausted? Take heart.

Oswald Chambers speaks to this in My Utmost For His Highest. In today's reading he says, "Spiritual exhaustion is never the result of sin, but of service. Whether or not you experience exhaustion will depend on where you get your supplies." I think this simple statement is KEY in our understanding of weariness and burden: Sin will NEVER be the cause of spiritual exhaustion! It may be the source of guilt or conviction - the root of the bitter consequences we face - but never the origin of wearing ourselves out for the King and His Kingdom. And while the burden and the exhaustion may wear us down to the core, this is ultimately a good thing. As long as we remember where our strength comes from in the first place. As long as it keeps us returning to the One who says, "...whoever drinks of the water I give will never thirst again. The water that I give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The same One who compassionately speaks to us, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Chambers goes on to say, "You have no right to complain, “O Lord, I am so exhausted.” He saved and sanctified you to exhaust you. Be exhausted for God, but remember that He is your supply."

I pray that we're never deceived into thinking that our sin or our rebellion is the source of growing spiritually weary. May we simply be broken and repentant for the things that lead our heart to wander from the true life-giver. But for those who are caught up in the "doing" - for you who are busy, busy, busy...making sure that the work of the Kingdom is being done...take heart. You WILL grow weary. You WILL at some point start to drop. Just make sure you fall right back into the arms of the source of every morsel of strength and hope and peace and joy that you ever had in the first place. Remember: "...those who wait for the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." You were made to fly! But you were also made to land every once-in-awhile.


Anonymous said...

Thanks. Great reminder.

DL3 said...
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