Monday, November 19, 2012

Strength for the Weary

I woke up this morning feeling the same feeling I've had for the past couple of weeks.  Dread.  Not because anything bad had happened, or that I feared what might happen.  Rather I felt the weight of all the things I had to do today.  I did not want to get up, but I knew the longer I lay there, the less time would remain for me to get my work done.

The act of starting down the road to catch your dream can become a tedious walk after several miles, especially knowing the goal is still miles away.  On top of pursuing that dream there are the day to day responsibilities which are unrelenting and always multiplying.  When I was in college I felt overwhelmed by school and deadlines and study and having to walk through what ever kind of weather to what ever far away building my classes were in.  That was really my only responsibility.  Now, I have 2 part time jobs, 2 kids, a dog and 2 cats, a husband, a house to keep, meals to prepare, and I need to get in some exercise and Bible study.  On top of that I am trying to learn about starting a business in illustration, feeling old and out of date, a slow dinosaur of a computer to deal with, and spending time getting the rust off of my artistic skills.  My friends probably wonder if I'm dead.

This sounds so much like I am complaining and I don't want to do that!  I was praying about all of this in a quiet moment last night.  I don't know that I gave God time to respond, but it did occur to me that the dread comes from internal resistance.  I am resisting all of this.  So I must be afraid, but why?  Afraid of what?  Not getting enough sleep?  I can remember getting pretty grumpy about that when my children were babies, as if they would never grow up and sleep through the night.  Hello, big picture, please!!  I have trouble with that sometimes.  I am beginning to think this is one of those times.

So what is there to fear?  What's the worst that will happen?  I'll get behind on my blogging?  I'll not have time for a couple of days to sit down and draw?  I will get behind on my sleep?  Really, Laura?  Is that it?

I have even wondered if I will be able to handle deadlines and trying to get the work done that I am so eagerly pursuing.  This is when I need to give myself a shake.  I have forgotten something.  I am not alone in this.

When my kids were babies I can remember thinking, "I am all alone in this!  I have to toughen up because I have to get this done - alone!"  Of course, I was not without a husband!  And, I have an ever present Savior who has promised in his word to never leave me nor forsake me (Joshua 1:5, Hebrew 13:5).  But I couldn't think of him then.  I am thinking of him now.

I know I am at the end of the strength I have just like someone who is training for an athletic event pushes themselves until they are so tired they can't go any farther because they know that training will eventually create greater strength and endurance.  In the days and weeks and months to come, this feeling of dread will pass away and I will feel like there is no struggle at all because the One who is the source of my strength will have strengthened me.

In the old days, I would have been angry right now, blaming everybody for how stressed I feel.  The Lord has shown me through those experiences that he is faithful.  I have peace in the midst of my stress knowing I am not alone and Jesus gives me wisdom and renews my strength.

Isaiah 40
Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the Lord;
my cause is disregarded by my God”?
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

My hope for you, dear reader, is that you will find your hope and strength in the One who has made you and loves you so dearly.  God's heart for you is tender and he sent Jesus Christ to make a way for you to come to him.  You don't have to be perfect.  All you have to do is believe.  I hope this post has blessed you.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  I'd love to hear from you and say a prayer for you.  Thanks for stopping by.