In A Weary Land

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Whatever things exist to divide us (and there are plenty), there is one thing that I think we can all relate to – and that is that we are weary. It feels like a new weight comes to settle on our shoulders every single day. I am intentionally NOT a news person, but it’s hard to avoid the headlines of each day. Some days I give in and doomscroll through Twitter, and if there is a common voice on that platform it expresses that we are weary. I’m not even going to start the list, we all know it by heart. And just when we kind of feel some equilibrium with this new world in which we live, some new reality hits. We’re not waiting for the other shoe to drop. We’re watching our world drop. I sincerely wish that was an exaggeration.

Every. Single. Day.

It’s been a learning curve, this life under the weight of a pandemic. We haven’t all coped as well as we would have hoped. Drugs, alcohol, and suicide all have risen during our time with COVID. I’m going to guess that is just the tip of the melting iceberg. The failure to cope has led to its own kind of weariness.

So what I’d like to do is give you ten quick steps to overcome weariness and bounce back into the life you had before an invisible virus spread across the world. I have seen many of those lists and we should not reject them. But I think there’s something a little more basic that’s on my mind right now.

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1, ESV

Weariness as a human condition is not reserved for pandemic realities. That truth alone gives me some encouragement. In a day when we are feeling alone, we are not alone at all. King David called out to God from a spirit of weariness, long before we were asked to wear masks and stay out of crowds.

Weariness is not necessarily an evil thing. If all human beings experience weariness from time to time in their lives and if David felt he could bring that before the Lord, then maybe my own weariness isn’t the worst thing. If I employ coping mechanisms that are destructive, that’s another issue. But to be weary, to acknowledge that I’m carrying some some extra weight on the shoulders of my mind, is something I need to feel free to acknowledge.

Weariness is not permanent. It’s good to know that it won’t always feel this way. Even during these past six months, there have been moments of reprieve and joy, smiles and rest. God’s mercies are new every morning. While we might be focused on the bombshells that seem to come every single day, we can also remember His mercies that come every single day. Those are not just empty words to cheer us on, they are Divine truths from a God who knows what we are facing.

Every. Single. Day.

Weariness can be a catalyst. As we have noted, sometimes it is a catalyst for destructive coping habits to develop. But that’s a choice. We can choose, instead, to let weariness be a catalyst to turn our hearts toward prayer, spending our lonely times in greater awareness of God’s faithful presence. It can shift our attention outward – there are some people who have moved beyond weariness into poverty of spirit and life. Can you help?

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;  his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV

I don’t think weariness should be denied. It shouldn’t become the theme of our lives, either. It is a reality. It hurts. It looms over us at times. It comes in waves. Believe me, I know.

But weariness as our common experience can present some unexpected opportunities and move us into some unexpected platforms of service, love, and inward satisfaction. As King David expressed his spiritual thirst, he also expressed his hopeful answer. God is the One in whom we find our spiritual thirst satisfied, our weariness addressed.

I know a lot of you have been really wrestling with weariness. I just wanted to say, don’t give up. Out here, hope remains.