There is a different way to live than being constantly tired – a sustainable life of trust and obedience to God.
Another long day draws to an end and you are exhausted. Maybe, you’ve been doing too many things, have a tiring job or demands of everyday life have put a lot of pressure on your wellbeing. Whatever the reason, you don’t even have energy to pray.
I know it. I’ve been there too. I’ve been tired because of lack of sleep, children, work, chores and commute but also because my mind has been too busy. Too busy thinking about what am I supposed to do in life? Am I doing the right things, how should I live etc. As much as the former things can make us physically tired, it’s the latter that cause us to be exhausted, discouraged and make us want to give up. And this is what make everyone around us -single and married, with or without children, young or old, so tired
Living tired is not really living – it’s not only about our personal wellbeing but also about how it affects others. Tiredness opens the door to outbursts of anger, being snappy, discouraged and selfish, and to other ways that Satan uses to undermine our faith in God and His calling on our life.
Jesus didn’t come to give us this kind of life. He came to give us abundant life, life in all its fullness. This kind of life is available to everyone but can be obtained only by following God’s will moment by moment.
Need to live differently
I’ve tried it and can tell you that it is good. It’s not easy to obey God but it’s worth it. When you first try, you’ll feel like you are physically opposing your body. And you’ll want to do what the body tells you to but every time you choose to follow God’s prompting instead, you’ll make the right decision.
I have definitely not yet arrived at the place of perfect listening and obedience but I’ve tried it and can testify how good it is.
Even though I now have a clear vision and direction for my life, I tend to do too many things outside of that. I also want to do things as quickly as possible and move on. This causes me to rush, be dissatisfied and not always focus on the right things.
As I’ve been getting closer to God, I understood that if I truly want to do His will (and as a result be happier), I need to do things differently – I need to stop living under my own pressure of ‘shoulds’ and ‘have to-s’, stop living by my own agenda and get closer to God, listen better and finally, obey what I’ve heard.
Less work, more peace
I started to relax, let go and have no plans for my spare time – it’s not easy because as a working mum and wife, I don’t have much spare time but always a lot to do. I let God lead. So I wouldn’t start anything before I prayed and genuinely looked to God for guidance. When I got the time to pray, afterwards I would slowly start doing things – focusing on one at a time, and doing exactly what I’d felt God told me to. If he said this should be the day of rest, I’d listen. If he’d told me to do that thing that was last on my list or make that phone call that I would rather do tomorrow, I would listen.
I cannot tell you the difference that I saw in my life. I felt more peaceful and focused better on each thing I do. Conversations with friends and family felt more meaningful and results of my work on different projects have been better,
I’m happier and more satisfied with my work and also live closer to God. And I’m less tired – physically and emotionally, because I don’t run after things that aren’t mine in God’s plan. I don’t push for things to be done and my mind is less occupied.
At the end of the day, I feel the sweet satisfaction that comes from knowing that I spent time with God, listened to Him and did what He asked me to do, even if it’s not what I planned to do. That sweet feeling of hearing at the end of the day that I’m a good and faithful servant doesn’t compare with anything.
Step by step
I believe this is the way forward for all of us.
Friends, we cannot afford to live exhausted lives, running after our tails and saying yes to every opportunity. If we want to thrive and help those around us to thrive too, be of use to God, and do more than just survive in the world that will throw more and more on us, we have to stay close to God and follow his leadership.
I’m not writing this from a perspective of someone who has all the time in the world to pray and read the Bible. I am full time working mum, wife and friend with only 24hrs in a day. There are days that I can only say one sentence prayer in the morning but I have ‘tasted and seen the goodness of the Lord’ and I am confident that listening to Him must be our top priority.
Healthy relationship with God is the key to a life which doesn’t force us to run after our own tail. God will give us a vision and a plan to work towards it. If we follow it with faith, we’ll see better results and will be less tired – physically and emotionally.
God will show us our priorities, he’ll tell us how to use our time well, what to learn, whom to meet up with and when to rest. He’ll help us to create the best routine, aligned with our life and our mission.
Some days, He’ll ask us to do something whilst on other days, He might ask us to take rest and re-think things. Sometimes, there might be no step at all but as long as we follow God’s direction, we’ll be going where we are supposed to and at a right pace. We’ll be peaceful about what we do or don’t. We might still be physically tired but it’ll be a ‘good’ kind of tiredness – one resulting from doing the right things and investing our strength and heart where we should. A kind of tiredness we will not feel is taking us nowhere.
Lost in life
If we don’t listen to God and go our own way before consulting Him, we’ll inevitably struggle. Jonah’s story from the Bible is a perfect example.
When we don’t live according to God’s schedule, we lack direction and assurance that what we do is right. We end up worrying about that too. We invest our strength, passion and resources in wrong places and fight for things on our own – without God’s support. And we end up doing too much at a wrong time. And get exhausted – not only physically but mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
I’ve often heard of others that they’re such great helpers but they don’t know when or how to say ‘no’ and end up with too many things to do. That’s because most people live without clear guidance from God and try to do everything that comes their way.
Jesus didn’t die on the cross so we can run after our tails, do things that don’t matter to Him and things that are not part of our calling. He died, so we can have a close relationship with the Father. A relationship which will result in us doing His will and building His kingdom.
Until we understand this, we, as a human kind, will be forever tired.
When we do however, we will see his goodness and faithfulness in every moment of our life. And doing things for Him won’t be the most important anymore. Instead, we’ll enjoy and find rest in His presence. It is worth a try.