Pursuing God Together in the Midst of Weariness
Discipleship | by Pastor Craig Sturm
I woke up recently feeling tired and weary, honestly a bit worn out—like a rubber band that has been stretched too many times to hold its elasticity.
It had been a hard week, wrestling with disappointments in myself, frustrations over the quarantine, and feeling the weight of entering into the struggles of others—broken relationships, racial heartache, fear of the future, unrepentant sin, discouraging health prognosis (just to name a few).
A phrase from Psalm 6:6 that represented my heart that morning was simply, “I am weary.” I remember crying out to God: “I am tired. Lord, it feels like the tank is empty.”
Can you relate?
A couple of days later I was reading back through a devotional resource I have used for many years. Inside the back cover I found a faded sticky note in my own handwriting. On the top was written: “In the Midst of Weariness…” Under that were four simple statements on how to work through my weariness. I’m not sure when I first wrote it, or who I got it from. But, it was a kindness of God to me that I found it!
So much so, that I wanted to share them with you (with a fifth I have added).
#1 REST IN GOD’S GRACE TO RESTORE YOU
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for 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.
Notice here: we will all grow weary! But, in our weariness, we have the strong assurance that God—who never grows weary—will renew our strength as we wait, in faith, on His kindnesses and strengthening.
#2 ROOT OUT YOUR IDOLS
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
When it comes to seasons of weariness, I have found it crucial to ask: “What am I trusting in to give me rest? Is it a life free of fear, stress? Is it perfect health?” In other words, what have I been sowing, that is contributing to the weariness I am reaping? In searching my heart, I am seeking to root out whatever I am trusting in, apart from God, to be for me what only He can be for me. And then bring that in confession before Him, seeking forgiveness and restoration.
#3 REMEMBER, GOD IS IN CONTROL
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
In my weariness, I need the reminder that He promises a harvest of good fruit—if I will not give up and persevere. And that good fruit will be good according to God’s definition of good: my growth to be like Jesus; the giving of grace to others in their time of need; and most importantly, the bringing of glory to His name.
#4 CONTINUE TO WHOLEHEARTEDLY INVEST IN PEOPLE
Paul ends his thought on persevering through weariness with an outward application in Galatians 6:10:
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
It may seem counter-intuitive, but a vital piece of the puzzle when I am weary, is to continue to press outside myself to invest in the lives of others. Notice this was fourth on the list…As I rest in God and find my strength in Him; as I root out false idols I am trusting in besides Him; and as I remember that He is in control and will bring the harvest of good fruit — then I can look at the opportunities I have been given to invest in discipling and caring for those He has brought into my life.
That brings me to the fifth piece I have added: In the midst of weariness, as I am working through the previous exhortations, I must continue to pursue God.
#5 PURSUE GOD
The psalmist displays this pursuit so beautifully in Psalm 63:1,8:
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water…My soul clings to you your right hand upholds me.
I love how A.W. Tozer spoke of this pursuit: “We pursue God because, and only because, He has first put an urge within us that spurs us to the pursuit…but the outworking of that impulse is our following hard after Him; and all the time we are pursuing Him we are already in His hand…”
AN INVITATION TO THE PURSUIT OF GOD DEVOTIONAL READING GROUP
I’d love to invite you to a tangible application of this call to pursue God. I am going to be facilitating a devotional reading group, working through Tozer’s classic The Pursuit of God. This is one of the few books I have found myself reading, and re-reading over the years!
Consider joining myself and others as we reflect on what pursuit of God looks like in our lives. We’ll work through the ten chapters, one per week until we’re done. FYI, the chapters take about 12-15 minutes to read (or you could grab the audio version).
I’m going to offer it both Tuesday mornings at 7:30AM and also Wednesdays at Noon. We’ll talk about 30 minutes and then pray. If you are interested in either of those, email me at email@example.com, and I’ll get you set up so that you receive reminders and the Zoom link. We will begin next week.
Participation would look like this: reading or listening to the chapter for that week; coming prepared having thought through the chapter, especially thinking: “Is there anything in the chapter that draws my heart to understand God better? What in the chapter was helpful in helping me understand what it looks like to pursue a deeper relationship with God? What is a tangible action I can take moving forward?”
Praise God He is the God of the weary! May our pursuit of Him refresh, restore, and renew our weary hearts, minds, and bodies.