I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing. As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the rubbish bin under the table, and notice that the bin is full. So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the rubbish first.
But then I think, since I’m going to be near the mailbox when I take out the rubbish anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of soda I’d been drinking.
I’m going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the soda can aside so that I don’t accidentally knock it over. I feel the soda getting warm, so I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the can, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye–they need water. I put the can on the counter and find my reading glasses that I’ve been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I’m going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote someone left on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I’ll be looking for the remote, but I won’t remember that it’s on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the living room where it belongs, but first I’ll water the flowers. I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then I head down the hall, trying to remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day, the car isn’t washed, the bills aren’t paid, there is a warm can of soda sitting on the counter, the flowers don’t have enough water, there is still only one check in my check book, I can’t find the remote, I can’t find my glasses, and I don’t remember what I did with the car keys. Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I’m really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I’m exhausted.
The phone rings. I answer the phone and the caller asks how I am feeling, “Exhausted,” I said, “my head’s splitting and my back and legs are killing me. The house is a mess, and I haven’t had time to eat all day.” Very sympathetically the caller said, “Listen, go and lie down, I’ll come over right away and cook dinner for you and clean up the house while you get some rest. By the way, how is Sam?”
“Sam?” I was confused. “There’s no one here named Sam.”
“My heavens,” exclaimed the caller, “I must have dialed the wrong number.” There was a long pause while I tried to make sense of this.
“Are you still coming over?” I asked hopefully.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
What is fatigue? Being fatigued is a state of being weary and extremely tired, even to the point of complete exhaustion. It is when we are tired most if not all the time. It’s called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
It is a feeling of being lethargic and unmotivated, lacking the energy to accomplish those goals we have set for ourselves. It is also the feeling of being so exhausted that we excuse ourselves from all thought choosing instead to sit in front of the TV set or computer screen so we don’t have to think.
What Causes Fatigue? The National Institute on Aging lists things like illness, or emotional problems like anxiety, depression, grief, stress, and even boredom as factors that cause fatigue. They also list several “lifestyle habits” like staying up too late, having too much caffeine, drinking too much alcohol, and eating junk food as causes for fatigue. Fatigue can also be caused by striving to do those things that are out of our control, or beyond our capabilities.
So, what do we do about it? How do we get our energy back? All these remedies require actions and commitment on our part.
When it comes to curing fatigue, there’s nothing like getting a good night’s sleep. Therefore, we need to take time to relax and ensure we get adequate rest. Turn off the TV or computer. You heard me!
The benefits to exercise are many. Even minor exercise can have major benefits. It can also help us get to sleep. It can come through recreational activities, like taking walks, sports, or any hobby where physical activity is required. Exercise can be doing, ugh, chores. Get off the couch. Go ahead. Get up!
Eating right can do wonders in fighting fatigue. What we eat can affect the amount of energy we need to expend throughout the day. Eating improperly, however, that is junk food, or foods that have been highly processed, can reduce our strength. Having a healthy diet goes a long way in fighting fatigue. Be aware of what you are fueling your body with.
So, if you knew all this, and are still exhausted, knowing it and doing it are two different things. If you know it and do it and are still exhausted, then maybe medical help should be considered.
There is an additional area of concern that can’t be overlooked. That is your spiritual health.
Of Jesus, the writer of Hebrews says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15 NKJV)
He knows what it is like to be fatigued and tempted, and therefore He sympathizes with our weaknesses, and being without sin tells us that He knows what will get us through to the other side.
Jesus understands the weight we carry and how hard it is just to live. He therefore tells us that it is through having a relationship with Him that our most basic need will be met, which is rest. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
From a physical perspective, we need adequate rest, exercise, and nutrition. But just as important, we need to renew ourselves spiritually. For this to happen we need to return to the true source of life, and that is God, which only happens when we spend time with Him daily.
We experience spiritual droughts because we’re not connected to God. We must continue to replenish our spiritual resources by spending time every day in the Bible and prayer.
In John 15:5, Jesus makes this same point. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
We become spiritually fatigued when we try to live this life based upon our own wisdom and strength. But when we trust in God and His power, then we won’t become so fatigued. Learn to pray instead of worrying. Phil. 4:6, 7 6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Only in a close relationship with Jesus can the weary be refreshed, and those who are exhausted can be renewed.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)