I am so tired. I’m sick and can’t sleep. I was up at three o’clock this morning, trying to breathe, sneeze, cough and keep my head from exploding. I am worn out!
While I was up, I spent some time on facebook. You know what I noticed? A lot of other people who are worn out too. People who are having issues at work…people looking for work…people struggling with a relationship…people looking for a relationship. There are a lot of tired people in this world.
Why do you think that is? We live in comfortable homes, surrounded by every modern convenience and yet, we are tired.
In the book The Hole in Our Gospel, author Richard Stearns tells of his first visit to Uganda. He tells of children, living in shacks with no running water, electricity or even beds to sleep in. He tells of the extreme poverty, disease and squalor that surround these children. And, maybe saddest of all, is the fact that there are no adults to care for them. Many adults have died from AIDS. These children have no one to care for them, to comfort them, to even give them a hug. They are a weary people.
Why is it then…that in the midst of our wealth, modern technology, every convenience known to mankind…we are a nation of tired people? Why are we so weary?
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
That sounds simple enough. If we were just physically tired, it would be. Oh, we might have to forgo a few meetings…turn off the television a little earlier…but it’s doable. But the weariness I see is a deeper one. It’s one of people who are struggling emotionally and spiritually as well. It’s to these people that Jesus was speaking. It’s for these that Jesus came…
Imagine being an outcast…the whole town knows your shame…so much so that you slink off in the heat of the day to get water from the well…the one time you know no one else will be there. A stranger approaches and asks you for a drink of your water. You are suspicious, but comply. The man tells you he can help you with your problem. As you lean wearily against the well, you listen as the man tells you about…you! It’s a shameful story and as you listen, you lower your head. But the man speaks without condemnation…he speaks with love. And what’s more, he offers to help. You feel your burden lifting. (paraphrase from John 4)
Sound good to you? The offer is still being made today. I have posted a link to one of my favorite songs…and I have included the words below. There is only one who can take away our weariness…all we have to do is fall into his outstretched hands.
We have raised our hopes and our cities high
We have followed fragile dreams
But only One could take the measure of our goals
And we’ve stumbled over the trials of life
And we’ve wrestled the unseen
But only One can calm the storm inside our souls
In the hands of God we will fall
Rest for the restless, and the weary
Hope for the sinner
In the hands of God we stand tall
Hands that are mighty to deliver
Giving us freedom
When our strength gave way to the weight of guilt
‘Til we strained for every breath
Only One could lift our shame and make us well
And when all is finished and we face
The fearsome power of death
Only One has overcome the gates of hell
You’re amazing, You are
And we praise You, Lord
For what Your hands have done