There’s nothing quite like being tired.
I’ve been a little worn out for a couple of months. I haven’t wanted to admit it. I wanted to convince myself and others of my great resilience and ability to push through difficult things.
My 12-step program Regen is one of those difficult things. It costs time, energy, and emotions. I’ve spent my fair share of things in the past, but never like this.
Regen has worn me out in a way I didn’t expect. It’s been a great process though. It’s taught me an incredible amount about God’s love for me and his grace.
I still got a little worn out as I learned about God’s love. The finish line became my sole focus and this is when God stepped up in a big way. He made it possible for me to take the trip of a lifetime.
A few weeks back, I travelled to Turkey and Greece to follow in the footsteps of Paul. I assumed this trip would be cool, but it blew my expectations out of the water. The beauty and adventure I experienced overwhelmed me in a way I did not expect.
The first surprising part of the trip was sailing on a clipper ship. I worried about being sea sick in the weeks leading up to the trip, but it turned out to be fine. With the help of a patch behind my ear, the ship was one of the best parts.
My senses of adventure and beauty went into overload as the ship sailed through the Aegean.
Maybe the best part came from sitting on the net of the bow sprit and staring down at dolphins as they raced the boat. It felt surreal. I didn’t know the same kind of beauty and adventure from stories could slip into my life.
The beauty and adventure of the trip made a big impact on my heart. For one, they softened it and helped me open up to God’s love. They also showed me how God understands the difficulty of the past months.
He understands Regen has been worn me out. This means the world to me because I struggle to accept that God understands the tough parts of life. I have a hard time connecting the God of the Universe with feeling of being worn out after an emotional conversation.
I often fall into the lie that God doesn’t understand the difficulty of my life. This trip showed me the truth. God understands what wears me out and he understands what refreshes me.
God gave me this trip to refresh me and help destroy the painful lie in my heart. This lie often hinders me from engaging with God and trusting him. It creates quite a bit of damage in my life.
Maybe the most important takeaway is God cares about this damage. He doesn’t get mad because I’m doing a bad job of engaging with him. He wants to do away with whatever gets in the way of our relationship and my trust.
This is important because it reminds me of how God is for me. There are few truths which are more important and yet it is so hard to remember. I often assume God is for my performance or morality, but not for me.
The elephant in the room though is not everyone whose reading this blog can go sail the Aegean.
I am aware of the difficulty of hearing about how someone’s faith grows through something you can’t experience. God didn’t get me on that boat because he cares more about me or because I am some super Christian. Neither of those things are true.
My guess is God got me on that boat because he needed something dramatic to get through to me. This information might not help you. A challenge might provide what you need though.
Beauty and adventure are to be found in more places than the Aegean. I challenge you to seek out the beauty which is within your reach. Next, I challenge you to rework some priorities to experience some of this beauty.
This can come from taking a daily walk, reading a good book, or taking the time for an encouraging conversation. Regardless of your method, I challenge you to take advantage of the beauty which God has placed in your life. The next part of the challenge is to pray God softens your heart.
My heart can be hard, bitter, and jealous. It doesn’t tend to enjoy beauty or appreciate God’s love when it’s in these modes. I often need it to be softened and God comes through when I pray for this.
I would love for each of you to take this challenge in at least a small way AND get back to me in either the comments or email. Being tired is like nothing else because it can shape how we see things, our choices, and how we deal with others. My hope is this challenge will refresh you and give you strength which you didn’t know was possible.
I want to know even if this hope is in vain and the challenge doesn’t work. Jesus loves you and wants to give you strength. I want to help you experience this strength regardless if my ideas don’t work.
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