Finding Jesus in Exhaustion

Do you know those days when you are so exhausted that the thought of blinking one more time makes you want to curl up in a ball and cry. Whether your exhausted from circumstances, exhausted from people, exhausted from lack of sleep, exhausted from lack of rest, or maybe a combination of things, you are just done. You are running on fumes, maybe adrenaline, and for some people maybe it’s just caffeine.

I had a couple of those days in a row this past weekend, and y’all it definitely was overwhelming. I would probably have felt better about my mental meltdown if I could have pinpointed one major thing that caused it, but I can’t it was just a whole bunch of little things that in the big scheme of things really did not matter. And sometimes I think it is okay to just let our hearts break down, to let our souls take a step back and say, “Hey Jesus ok I really need you right now!” But when it is not ok is when you handle it like I did. See I let myself fall into that deep dark pit, you know the one I’m talking about…the one where you tell yourself all these lies late at night that you would never believe in a sane frame of mind, but in those moments of vulnerability you twist and turn every thought into a deep dark lie that is just not true and that spiral seems to go farther deep than the ocean is wide. Then as if it couldn’t get worse but we take it out on the people around us, the people who we are the closest with. Maybe it is just me, but maybe it is you too. So if you know what I’m talking about then know you are not the only one, and sometimes I think that is more refreshing than anything.

But here is what I learned from my 5-year-old adult meltdown; first thing is that the enemy feeds most on those times when our mind travels to those dark places. And he loves when we are exhausted and vulnerable because that is his prime opportunity to fire control over our minds. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be of sober mind because the devil prowls like a lion seeking someone to devour.” But God also tells us how to fight it in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to our flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every thought that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and take EVERY thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.”

Second, exhaustion is going to happen when we are children of God serving His kingdom. Even Jesus had to go off alone and pray after spending His days teaching, preaching, and performing miracles. And let’s face it y’all Jesus was perfect and HE STILL NEEDED TIME ALONE! So the way I think of it, if Jesus needed it, then we need it SO MUCH MORE! But, here is the flip side, sometimes rest is not going to come in a night of 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep or a day without work, chores, or life’s challenges. Jesus promises us to give us strength, but He does not promise it will come in the pretty package we desire it to come. Sometimes it comes in a conversation with a friend, a song, a simple Psalm, or maybe if you’re really lucky it comes in a long night of peaceful sleep.

My days, and your days will continue to be exhausting, however it’s where we find our rest, and how we face exhaustion is where our heart will thrive the most. John 10:10 says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Jesus exists in the exhaustion, I promise. Even when we feel He is not there, He is always present, but we must change the way we look for Him. I love this line from a song on Ellie Holcomb’s new album Red Sea Road, called Find You Here it goes,

And I didn’t know I’d find You here
In the middle of my deepest fear, but
You are drawing near
You are overwhelming me, with peace

He’s here. I promise.

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