The Rest of The Way Posts

LOCKDOWN LETHARGY
Wednesday, August 11, 2021 by Leona Choy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We've just come through a prolonged period of abnormal, forced-upon-us-isolation from the rest of society. In fact, we're afraid that we haven't yet come through it—that more of the same lockdown under house arrest living might still be ahead.

We are TIRED, WEARY, FAINT—there are nuances of meaning for feeling bushed, dog-tired, jaded, worn out. The classic passage in Isaiah chapter 40 expresses all of those words. I tried to mine gold out of each word with the help of a Hebrew-Greek Expository Dictionary, reliable old Webster, and a comparison of translation versions. Subtle shades of meaning shine forth to encourage our daily walk with the Lord.

We draw our strength from God whom this text makes clear never becomes weary or tired as we human creations do. Tired implies loss of energy, zip, and vitality. We have used up our physical or mental reserves through arduous work, strain or continuous stress. We are depleted and running on empty. Our battery has lost its charge. Such feelings are common to mortal life. We shouldn't feel guilty about being tired.

Jesus became so physically tired that He zonked out in a rocking, rolling boat in the middle of a storm, while His disciples panicked in fear for their lives. He had exhausting days and was physically depleted in the human part of His nature. Tired is something that rest and sleep will cure. The three closest disciples fell asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane from physical weakness.

After their return from the ministry of teaching and healing on which He had sent them, Jesus told His disciples they had to retreat to a quiet place to become restored. “Come unto Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” That remedial invitation is extended to us as well. Tired is temporary and part of our temporal existence on Planet Earth.

Rest and sleep and good nourishment were what Elijah the prophet needed. He was played out and spent mentally and physically after his spiritual confrontation with the pagan prophets of Baal. God prescribed extended restful restoration and a nourishing diet to get him back on his feet.

The Isaiah passage adds another layer over the feeling of tiredness—weariness. We who are in our calendar-challenged years find ourselves not only prone to tire more easily but also inclined to become weary. That isn't exclusive to the aging process; it also afflicts the young. “Even the vigorous young men grow weary and tired and stumble badly.” It is a condition of the flagging spirit. Weary is a protracted feeling not easily remedied, more inward and serious than being physically bushed or wiped out.

What can cause us to become weary? Would you believe, well-doing? Are we weary of discharging responsibilities given to us by the Lord? Weary of striving against sin? Weary of the length of the road? Weary of being under the chastening hand of God? Weary of being opposed and canceled for our stand against unrighteousness? Weary of persevering in prayer?

Endurance, perseverance, faithfulness, determination, fidelity are what God wants of us as an antidote to being weary. Since He promises to give His strength to us in our weariness, it is His desire for us as His disciples to “know how to sustain the weary one with a word,” (Isaiah 50:4). Jesus desires us to encourage fellow weary travelers. As we have “a word” for them, we ourselves are built up.

Translations differ in the Isaiah 40 verses as to whether we will be able to “run and not get tired, to walk and not become weary” or vice versa. Sometimes a short sprint like a mile run makes us physically tired but the monotonous walking, the steady, long road plodding along with its daily routines may make us weary in our spirit.

We are not left in doubt about how to run. The writer of Hebrews twice encourages us to “run with endurance,” “so when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:36 and 12:1).

Drawn-out weariness will lead to the even more serious condition of fainting. We don't want to go there. In Revelation 2:3,4 Jesus praised the Church at Ephesus, “And you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary.” Then follows the tragic word “but.” “But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.”

Do you need any application pointed out to you beyond the Word of God and the Holy Spirit of God speaking to your heart?

If you have lost your first love, return to the fervor of His heart.

Are you simply physically depleted? Perhaps you should sleep it off.

Are you weary of well-doing? In God’s strength keep on.

Galatians 6:9 in the Amplified puts it all in perspective. “Let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.”


Comments

Linda Ann Fumea From FL At 8/16/2021 7:10:55 AM

Good word, Sister ! Everyday, we pray for Strength for the Day !

Reply by: Leona Choy

Morning by morning His mercies I (we) see.

Beatrice Chen From Escondido, ca 92026 At 8/12/2021 7:09:11 PM

Great encourager you are! Thank God to keep you strong in body and spirit! He still has much for you to do while on earth! Thank God for you!, Leona. God has led me to this nice Christian retirement community called Meadowbrook Village Christian Retirement Community. May His best will be done

Reply by: Leona Choy

Spirit is strong, Beatrice, but body feels more fragile in my nineties. I'm so thankful for your living situation in California. I hope you are separated safely from the bad stuff which goes on in CA. You are protected the Ephesians 6 armor no matter what happens in the world around you.

Dorothy Daniels From Bloomery WV At 8/12/2021 9:59:18 AM

Thank you for once again giving me the right words at the right time.

Reply by: Leona Choy

To stand up for the righteousness of God is getting more difficult in a cancel culture that is hostile to our faith. God give us courage to witness for Him in season and out of season.

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