I came back exhausted. Three friends from high school live in the Bay Area of California which prompted a long weekend to visit them. Walking up and down the hills, enjoying an afternoon stroll through the Japanese Garden in Golden Gate Park, hiking to see waterfalls in Marin County, staying up late for girl talk, plus the drive there and back left me lingering in bed the morning after my return.
Prior to my departure, I predicted my muscles would ache after the trip. Still I was not prepared for the exhaustion. I packed as much as I possibly could into a short period of time. So while it was the good kind of tired, my energy level hit rock bottom nonetheless.
It got me to thinking about other times my energy has waned. Galatians 6:9 tells us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Remembering this verse brought pangs of guilt. There I was laying in my bed weary from three days of activity even though there was so much to do that morning. Was I essentially giving up? So many tasks to accomplish, so many people to connect with, a dog to be walked; the list was endless. But then I realized that in order to gain stamina, rest was essential, not selfish.
Rest is what enables us to recharge, to prepare for the tasks ahead of us. I like to think of myself as someone who stays strong, who never gives up the fight. I want to serve well until the day I’m done. But God knows we need rest to be rejuvenated, because it is the only way we are filled so we can pour out our energy and our love once again.
During that day, I acknowledged that I am human, that I have limits. But I also prayed to God, “I’m not quitting. In the stillness of today, I’m learning to trust you.” Rest brought increased stamina to serve the God of grace, who understands the frailty of my human condition. And even when I felt weak, I knew there was divine power working within me. After resting, I gained vigor to get up and keep going.
There are many things that drive us to bed: too much exercise, an illness, depression. As Christians, though, we all have God in us – One who is bigger, more powerful, more capable than any of our bad days. He is stronger than our circumstances. Every moment of our lives are in God’s care. Every day begins and ends with His purpose. There will always be a faithful never-changing God who is in control. He gives us stamina, for in our rest we acknowledge He is in charge and He will never let us go.