Weariness. The dictionary defines it as, “feeling or showing tiredness, especially as a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep”.  Anyone that has served Jesus for any prolonged amount of time has been faced with and/or experienced seasons of weariness. God knew this would be an issue among us because on more than one occassion, He warns us in the Word about becoming weary:

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 (NKJV)

You’re tired and maybe even weary right now. Serving God by serving His people is a big part of the reason you’re in this place. It’s normal and common.

When Paul told young Pastor Timothy that those who desire to be an elder or an overseer desire a good work, he was right. Serving God by serving people is work indeed. The idea behind that word is more than mere work, but it’s a work like no other.

That’s one reason why you’re tired right now. The exhaustion of the work has caught up to you. The criticism stings. The sleepless nights add to the fatigue. The paradox of serving people with all that you’ve got only to be stabbed in the back is painful. The email you just opened is the clincher. Did they really write that? Are they living in reality? Yes, and maybe not. A day, a week, a month, many years of that can take its toll on you. It already has.

“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.” 1 Timothy 3:1 (NKJV)

It must be hard for you in this season of weariness. I acknowledge that in your life. It’s hard. It’s a perfectly normal emotion for a person experiencing what you’ve been experiencing. You’re a normal human being. While you’ve been warned about it time and time again, when it comes, it’s still surprising isn’t it? You’re weary serving God? Yes, you are. Anyone serving God will arrive where you are soon enough. Being tired doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you a sub-standard believer. It doesn’t make you unfaithful or unusable.

Weariness is often the playground for the enemy of our souls to condemn us under the weight of our overwhelming situation. This is fertile ground for the “could haves, should haves, and world haves” of life. But none of that helps in times like these. If you dwell on those “could have beens” you will surely make things worse for yourself and for those who are closest to you.

Instead, cultivate a deeper time of prayer with the Father, casting all your cares to Him. You may even find that friends can’t help you. That’s probably true. But God can help you. Don’t settle for the imperfect help of man. Go higher – straight to the love of God!

 “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7 (NLT)

When times of weariness arise, God is getting your attention through your body and mind. These are important times to stop and seek Him.

Times of weariness call for rest. Take time away to rest from the weariness, friend. Get away and alone with your Jesus who calls you to Himself for fellowship and relaxation in Him. Tune your ear to His still, small voice beckoning you to come to Him.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ‘For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.'” Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

That is the call of Jesus – not just to the people you serve – but to you, personally, privately, and powerfully. Take to Him your labors, and give Him your heaviness for His promised exchange of rest. It’s not just any type of rest, but one for the soul!

Times of weariness call for recalibration. Certainly this is a time to reassess your role in ministry and re-consider the calling of God upon your life. He’s placed you here. He’s using you here. Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean that God is done with you. He’s not.

In life, things wear down and even wear out, but along the way a wise and talented person will take that item and recalibrate it to its original condition. God is doing that as you take time to seek Him in your tiredness. You’re being recalibrated to get back on track. You’re important to the work of God on the earth today. The worst thing you could do is to quit because it’s hard and you’re tired. Ministry is hard and tiring, so it should be no surprise you find yourself where you are.

“‘Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.’ And He said, ‘My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ Then he said to Him, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.'” Exodus 33:13-15 (NKJV)

Times of weariness call for recommitment. Eventually, things will improve and you’ll be ready to return to even greater places of ministry, service, and love for people. Don’t forget this time of weariness or how God delivered you from it, strengthening you and giving you fresh vision. He allowed it in your life to remind you that ministry and serving Him is to be done in Him, by His Spirit. Part of your weariness certainly came because you were leaning on the arm of your flesh along the way. You were allowing those criticisms to sting. You were dwelling too much on that nasty email too long. Remember it’s His Church and you’re His child. Refresh that commitment you made to Him as you get your eyes off yourself and back on Him.

“So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’  He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ He said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.’ He said to him, ‘Tend My sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?’ Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’ And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.'” John 21:15-17 (NKJV)

You’ll surely be here again, this place of weariness. It’s all too familiar to the servant of God. But He is your life, your strength, and all that you need to serve Him successfully by His Spirit.

“Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3 (NKJV)

He loves you and so do I.  All that you’ve done for Him is not in vain.