3:45 AM is not my ideal time to wake up. Nor is 3:52 AM my ideal time to be buying coffee from the local Oxxo convenience store.
But, sometimes that happens when you serve in missions and need to pick someone up to be at the airport by 5 AM.
The middle of dinner is not my ideal time to answer international phone calls. 20 minutes later is not my ideal time to eat my now cold food.
But, sometimes that happens when you serve in missions and you get to talk with a potential DTS student about how God is gonna change their life.
No matter who we are or what we do with our time, we all eventually get run down and encounter things that aren’t our perfect idealized situations. Whether we work in missions and build houses for impoverished families, work to put food on the table, or go to university to get an education, life wears us down.
When we get tired and worn down, we put ourselves into a routine or a rythym that holds out until the stress falls away. As Kendrick Lamar said,
Pour up (Drank), head shot (Drank)
Sit down (Drank), stand up (Drank)
Pass out (Drank), wake up (Drank)
Faded (Drank), faded (Drank)
Wake up. Go. Eat. Go. Work. Go. Study. Go. Eat. Go. TV. Go. Phone. Go. Shut down.
Ever feel like you’ve been in a non-stop routine like this? One that says, “Shut up, put your head down, keep going”.
And the bad news we all already know is we can’t overcome everything by ourselves.
Sure, you can handle only a few hours of sleep for a few days or even weeks. But we’re only human. Eventually the quality of our character and quality of our works will suffer.
And that’s even more when we need to turn to God for help. He will renew us. He will strengthen us. He will refresh us.
“We will not neglect the house of our god” -Nehemiah 10:39
The Bible uses the metaphor of houses to refer God’s people numerous times. The prophet Nehemiah tells us if we neglect the upkeep of ourselves, then we will falter.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31
And Isaiah further says we can look to Christ for strength and the ability to overcome the struggles we encounter!
I am reminded by Him, that every early morning and long work day spent serving, can be overcome by His strength. I need to pause and reflect on me, on my house. It’s easy for me to overwork myself and spread myself too thin.
But we all need to take time to ourselves and spend time with the Lord so he can strengthen us and fortify us.