(In follow up to previous post: Weary or Tired?)
Prior to the virus pandemic, who of us did not at times want the world to stop whirling long enough for us to get off? Or to get a transfer to some deserted island in the tropics—away from the frantic rat race of our frenetic days? Just to have some quiet family time—perhaps to be alone for awhile without the burden of working for our daily bread?
Suddenly—out of nowhere, so it seemed, we got our wish. Like it or not, we got banished to what we are now accustomed to calling our “sheltered-in-place.” Let's pause and get a perspective on what has happened.
There’s a worthy charity called “Wounded Warriors” which assists families of wounded war veterans. As Christians in the battle of life on earth, we often become both wounded and weary with the constant skirmishes and clashes not only physically, but mentally, spiritually, and emotionally.
It's a given that the elderly are prone to become bone tired and often exhausted with serving in life’s combat zone for a long time. Young moms surrounded by the incessant needs of children and nearly overwhelmed with their family responsibilities fall into that category too. We include those who daily go to battle in the marketplace or service careers to support their families. And those who serve the Lord, not only in the context of official church ministry, but all of us who aspire to help others along in their journey to God. We all sometimes feel as if we’re running on empty.
Below, “Author Unknown,” a frequent contributor to many publications, wrote a relevant fiction piece on this subject. (Slightly "souped up" by Leona)
REQUEST FOR TRANSFER
TO: Commander-in-Chief: Spiritual Armed Forces: Jesus Christ
Sir: I request a transfer to a quiet desk job in some corner all by myself. Herewith are my reasons: I began my military career as a private. Because of the intensity of the battle, You quickly moved me up in the ranks. You made me an officer, but I know I only have the skills of a private. You gave me a tremendous amount of responsibility for the many soldiers and recruits under my charge. I am constantly on call to dispense wisdom, make decisions, and find solutions to complex problems.
I know You promised to supply all my needs for battle, but Sir, the facts are that my equipment is wearing out. My uniform, once so crisp and new, is now stained with tears and blood of those I’ve tried to assist. The soles of my boots are worn from miles I’ve walked trying to enlist new recruits and encourage the troops. My weapons are tarnished and chipped from constant battle against the enemy. Even the Book of Regulations I was issued is torn and tattered from endless use.
You promised to be with me throughout my service, but when the noise of battle is so loud and the confusion is so great, I can neither see nor hear You. I feel so alone and tired and discouraged. I think I have PTSD. I would never ask You for a discharge. I love being in Your service. But I humbly request either a demotion or transfer. I’ll be happy to file papers in an office or even clean latrines, just get me away from the front lines, please, Sir.
Your tired warrior,
ANSWER TO TIRED WARRIOR
TO: Faithful but tired Soldier,: Spiritual Armed Forces
Location: The Battlefield of Life.
Subject: Transfer Request
Your request for transfer has been denied. I herewith present My reasons:
I recruited you especially for your position in this battle. I have chosen you,qualified you and I will keep My Word to supply your need. You do not need a transfer. My grace is sufficient for you where you are. You do not deserve a demotion because you have been faithful and heroic. (You’d never cut it on latrine duty, however.) You need a period of “R & R” (Rest & Renewal). I have set apart a place right on the front lines that is insulated from all noise of battle and fully protected from the enemy. I will always be there when you come, and I will renew you and give you rest. “Behold, I “make all things new.” I will replace your worn equipment, but hold on to your combat boots—they are useful everywhere.
I checked your original orders. You signed on for life. A report from your superior officer indicates that you have also been wounded in battle and merit a Purple Heart. My courageous soldier, your wounds are not visible, but you have grave internal injuries and been weakened in the battle. I will heal you and renew your strength, restore your confidence and ability. My confidence in you will rekindle your vision to keep serving on the Battlefield of Life.
Your Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ
Most of us, in our own way, can identify with the weary soldier above. Sometimes we feel like fainting, dropping out or going AWOL from our particular battlefield, whether in the home or the workplace. God has permitted the PANDEMIC PAUSE to be our period of R & R. Let's claim these great promises meant for all of us in whatever season of life we find ourselves.
The prophet Isaiah zeroes in on the young recruit as well as the veteran soldier in the promises of God in chapter 40. Let’s take another look at it in the light of the above:
“Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not faint. [The Everlasting God] gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases strength.”
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