Weariness is one of those things that sometimes is difficult to describe or even explain why you feel the way you do. You most likely are not actually physically tired, like the feeling you get after a good workout or doing something with vigor that you really enjoy. All you know is that you’re worn-out, out of patience and short on tolerance. Whatever enthusiasm you once had, for life and its demands, has become irksome and tedious at best. Months or even years before, if someone had asked you if you would ever tire of chasing after your children, supporting you husband or wife, or doing those things you seemingly love, for those you love, the answer would have been, “of course not!” But that was then, and this is now. Sound familiar?
One of the more curious things about weariness is that it frequently strikes when we are earnestly trying to do everything right and meet the demands we feel our spouse, family and God expects. Yet, the apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Well, when weariness sets in, all you want to say to Paul is, “So where’s the harvest?” The fact is that we can grow weary from too much of a positive thing, too much of a negative thing or just too much of anything, good or bad. Perhaps this was the problem for the people of Judah when they complained, “The strength of the laborers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall (Nehemiah 4:10).” Continuing to clear, build and face the dangers that seemed to appear around every corner, was just too much and all they wanted to hear was, OK you can stop. But then what…what would happen then? Sound familiar?
It’s easy to say, “Be selfless” or “don’t you know it’s not about you.” It may be the truth, but when you have reached the point where weariness has become an immobilizing force, about all you can do is say, “it is about me this time.” One of the things that really irked me, years ago when our children were young, was when I got home from work I would often walk into a house with toys on the floor, the kids either tired and cranky or worse, be asked to speak to my sons about something they had been disciplined for earlier in the day. What I wanted to say was, “Can’t you see that I’m beat and need a little peace and quiet. I’ve had just about all I can take!” There was no question that I was weary, my wife Cindy was weary and I’m sure we said and thought things that neither of us is proud of. The writer to the Hebrews in chapter 12, verse 3, writes, “Consider him (Jesus) who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” It’s OK to grow weary, sometimes it’s just unavoidable and the result of hard work with little or no apparent appreciation, but it’s not OK to “lose heart” and quit.
So what does it mean to lose heart? The best example I can think of is when what was once a warm and caring relationship between a husband and wife grows cold. It’s when all the shouting and fighting, attacks and counter attacks, accusations and denials are over and you realize it is quiet and that what was once something beautiful is now nothing, nothing at all. This is where weariness can lead and where every husband and wife must pledge, to each other and to God, not to allow into their relationship. To grow weary and lose heart must be kept on the other side of the wall, with the gates secured. Satan will try to get you to open them, but don’t listen to his lies and deceptions.
So, in a practical sense, what can we do to prevent it? The first thing is to go to God in prayer and ask for the power and wisdom of God, available to you through His Holy Spirit. Second, go to your spouse and be honest, ask for help and their understanding. Tell them that you’re not looking for sympathy or even compliments, just a helping hand. God created Eve because Adam couldn’t handle it by himself, none of us can. We need one another and we need God, it’s just that simple. There are two words, if said with sincerity and genuine appreciation can make weariness seem less a burden and more just the result of a hard days work; much like a workout, that makes you tired but you feel good when you’re finished. Those two words are thank you.
Tool #287 Say thank you to God, even when it seems you have little to be thankful for; and say thank you to your husband or wife, everyday.