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I was tired. Fatigue overtook my body. All I wanted was to lay on my mat in my home and hide under my blanket. Life was overtaking me. I was tired; tired of it all.

Yet my friend encouraged me to go. “You have to see this man. He is like no one I’ve ever seen.”

“Whatever,” I told him. “I don’t need to see another freak in the desert who thinks he’s a Messiah.” I told him I’ve seen these guys come and go, reminded him that John the Baptizer character is in prison now. But my friend tugged at me and told me it would at least be good for me to get out, to at least listen to this Jesus.

So there I stood and wouldn’t you know it, some of that John the Baptist character’s followers were there quizzing this Jesus. They wanted to know if he was “the one” or if they should look for someone else. Jesus told them, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

Okay, so I heard about this guy healing people, but I couldn’t quite grasp raising people from the dead. That seemed to be a stretch. I watched those followers of that John the Baptist leave. Perhaps they felt the same as I did, not really buying that whole thing about raising the dead. I looked at my friend and tugged on his cloak. “Let’s go.” But he pointed toward this Jesus. I turned to look at him and he was now talking to all of us gathered there. “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind?”

He continued to speak, about John the Baptist; about the Kingdom of Heaven being raided. “And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. Whoever has ears, let them hear,” I heard him say. His words swirled in my head as he continued to speak of woe to different towns. My heart was heavy. Woe described my life. Sorrow filled my days. I just wanted to go home and hide under my blanket.

I was about to turn to my friend and tell him I was leaving when Jesus said something that caught my attention: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” I looked at him and it felt like his eyes were piercing me. He continued as if he was speaking directly to my weary heart: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

#WednesdayWalk Through the Bible — an exploration of what unknown people might have seen or felt when they witnessed the events in the Bible. This post is from the perspective of someone who heard Jesus speak, based on Matthew 11 (NIV).

© 2019 CGThelen

This morning dear God I echo Job’s words: “Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power (Job 21:7, NIV)?” At times I feel helpless to influence this world for you. At times it feels as if those who reject you are winning. My efforts seem futile. They refuse to hear about your love and grace, about your son Jesus. Sometimes I repeat Elijah’s words, “I have had enough, Lord (1 Kings 19:4).” Yet I hold on to your words Lord: “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son (Revelation 21:7, NASB).” Help me dear Lord to overcome. Help me to hold onto your truths. May I rest in your strength, your love and grace.

“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.” – Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV)

© 2019 CGThelen

I followed the others into the large room and took a seat with them. I sighed as I sat down, my body aching from another week of skirmishes; my emotions ragged from the continuing attacks. I wondered how much longer our small platoon could hold on.

For the moment we took refuge here, assembled together as one. I glanced around at the group. So many like me who had been fighting this battle for years. So many who bore the scars of relentless attacks from the enemy. I could see the fatigue in their eyes, yet I also saw their determination to press on. Together we were still a formidable force for the enemy to contend with despite our weaknesses.

In this moment together we sang praises; we shared our struggles; we prayed together; we joined together to find strength and renewal. We meditated on our mission and why we were placed here for this battle. We were told victory is ours. Each Sunday there is hope in the assembled faithful.

I left the church still feeling the fatigue and emotional trauma, but ready to take on the enemy for another week. This group of seasoned faithful, believers who deeply care, helped give me hope to carry on. Once again the enemy would try to break us this week because he feared us the most, God’s faithful warriors banded together as the church.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 (NIV)

“He rescues me unharmed from the battle waged against me, even though many oppose me.” Psalm 55:18 (NIV)

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another —and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24 (NIV)

© 2018 CGThelen

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