Until I met Mrs. Baker, I didn’t know there was a difference between being weary and being tired. Everyone knew her in our town, and her generosity and kindness were notorious. A foster parent for many years, she adopted my cousin when she wasn’t much older than two or three. She then fostered three other little ones and raised them all until they were adults. I don’t think the word ‘rest’ was in Mrs. Baker’s vocabulary. She was always on the go—always doing something for her church, for her children, or for someone in need. Her service is indeed an example that I admire until this day; it motivates me in many ways. But the one thing I never saw in Mrs. Baker’s life was a person that offered her the same care she so generously offered others.
Mrs. Baker never confided in me personally, but it’s not too much of a stretch to think that when she was weary, no one knew about it. And it’s entirely possible that no one noticed. She just kept doing what she had always done, and people were happy and thankful to receive her special brand of kindness. In Isaiah 40:31(NKJV), the Prophet Isaiah tells us, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Mrs. Baker, like so many of the women I knew, gave of herself continually and expected nothing in return. They knew the giving side of Christian service but didn’t stay in a place of rest long enough to wait for a renewal of their strength. They didn’t feel they had the luxury of waiting, but times are different, and we have nothing like their excuse.
Isaiah 40:31is an extremely comforting and wonderful chapter in the Book of Isaiah, affirming God as our Sustainer, Provider, and Protector. He’s our everything, and He tells us through Isaiah, that whatever we need, He’s got it, and will give it to us. Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to run ourselves in the ground, nor does He want anyone putting us in this kind of situation. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 11:28-30(NLT), “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” It is very true that some people don’t know how to rest. They feel compelled to surround themselves in an environment that doesn’t invite it. Jesus Christ extends an invitation in Matthew 11:28-30 to all of us, but in order to receive what he offers, we must be willing to accept it.
It was no surprise that as I’d dot in and out of my hometown, coming home for holidays and visits, Mrs. Baker was still doing what she had always done. Her daughters were older and helping some, but she seemed busier than ever. Imagine my surprise and sorrow to hear she had passed from this life before her sixtieth birthday. My cousin told me that on her dying bed she told her family that she was so very tired. She was a treasure for so many, but as I reflect upon her life, I’m not convinced she ever enjoyed a deep and abiding rest in her heart, or that she received her flowers while she yet lived.
Ignorance will keep us blind to the reality that God has beautifully woven balance into life. A life lived well is indeed surrendered fully to Him, but lest we forget, Hebrews 11:6 affirms that He is a Rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. He will lavish us with rewards, but we have a part to play in this as well. Ephesians 2:10(NLT) tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” God calls us His finest work. Therefore, we should be as tenacious about loving life as we are about work, service, sharing and caring for others. We must learn to be good to ourselves and recognize that this, too, is service to God.
Yes, in life we will get weary, but we shouldn’t exhaust ourselves to the point of losing vitality. That’s what it means to be tired, and we’ve got too much life to live for that. People mean well, but they will take, and take, and take. To be sure, the walk of a believer means there will definitely be times when we must give more of ourselves than we thought possible, but not to the point of damaging the masterpiece that God has made us. We can never count on a singular person to treat us better than we treat ourselves. So, let’s make a commitment that we will do our best to be a blessing, but that we will also take time to enjoy the good things God has planned for us as well.■
Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
“Weary, but Never Tired” written by Fran, edited by PMB for DomesticAbuseAwareness.Org ©2019. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!