Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!
Revelation 5:12 NIV
Worth weary, anyone?
I confess to wearing myself out at times, clawing my way through one more task, one more chore, one more word. Although I’m not aware of it at the time, when I look back, I realize often it has been to earn my worth.
Have I done enough?
Enough for what? Another pat on the back or a smile? An award? To be tagged deserving?
Worth Weary: For years I sewed, sometimes until 3:00 a.m. (That’s what Super Mom does, right?)
I grabbed a couple hours of sleep and trotted off to work by 7:00 a.m. Trouble is, at times I had little left for my students, and by 6:00 p.m. I possessed not a shred of energy for my family.
I’ve been known to write for twelve hours straight. But by bedtime my back aches, my eyes are crossed, and I can’t think straight. It’s all I can do to stumble past my husband and into bed. At those times, I’ve closed my ears to God’s voice echoing through His divine megaphone: “Enough, already!”
It’s easier to express my thoughts and emotions in writing than with the spoken word. As a result, at times I regret not speaking up. But then, I have yet to figure out what’s enough. Can the Word of God enlighten me?
And let us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Galatians 6:9 (ASV)
The Apostle Paul encourages the Galatian church not to be weary in well-doing. In the past, I thought that meant to concentrate on the well-doing and push aside the weary. Just work, work, work and ignore your weariness, I’d tell myself.
I have a different take today. As a result of the fall in Eden, our physical bodies grow weary. No way around it. But, like pain (a la C.S. Lewis in The Problem of Pain), weariness can serve as God’s megaphone.
Coxswains have tossed aside the megaphones of old. Instead, they use a headset, which is hooked up to speakers along the inside of the shell. They call out in a language their teammates understand and in tones they recognize. Coxswains direct, focus, and encourage their teammates. Why? Because the rowers grow weary, off track, and even discouraged in their task. And in order to work successfully as a team, all rowers must work together in harmony.
Worth weary, off track, and discouraged? Sounds a lot like me at times. How about you?
Olympic rowers build more than muscle strength. They hone their listening skills, response time, and output. They respond to the coxswain in ways that achieve the goal without collapsing before the race is complete. Otherwise, they would fail completely.
But who is my coxswain? To whose words am I to listen? Whose tone am I to recognize? Jesus himself answers that question.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28 NIV
I’m immensely honored to have received the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel award and ACFW’s Carol for The Calling of Ella McFarland.
As I look back on the years of mulling over the idea for the book and researching the subject matter, I relive the weariness, discouragement, and faulty focus. But unlike in my younger days, I’ve learned to stop the press, if you will, and rest. My goal isn’t to win an award. Or to earn my worth. It’s to shine a light on the worthiness of Jesus Christ and leave a legacy of faith in writing.
That mindset takes a load off my shoulders. It relieves the weariness. And gives me rest.
My spine is crooked from years of bending over a desk, sewing machine, or computer. Had I heeded God’s voice in my weariness, no doubt I would sit straighter and experience less pain at the end of a day of writing. I can’t undo the past, but I can adjust my behavior in the present and consider the future without anxiety.
Neither you nor I can earn our worth. Only He is worthy. We can cling only to Jesus’ worth. Trust Him with our labor. And when He shouts, “You’re weary. Rest!” … obey.
P.S. Please excuse me while I take a holy nap.