Be Encouraged

I am tired. You could probably guess why, and although you wouldn’t be wrong, you wouldn’t have the whole of it either. I mean, small children, school, job, and everything else that makes up a day take its toll. But rest assured, those are the best things. Those are the kinds of things that make you bone weary in a good way, because you are blessed to be busy. I try very hard (and sometimes fail) to not let that type of tired get me down.

I am tired. I am tired of all the petty I see in the world. Who wants to hear politicians rambling on about email servers and walls? Who really wants to debate the debt ceiling and possible shut down of the country again? (Although I am very grateful it didn’t come to that this time). Who wants to listen to people, friends, foes, and acquaintances go on about topics far from our front porch and debating the information without listening deeply and considering wholly the other persons opinion? I am tired of petty he said/she said. I am tired of grudges that go back so far the folks involved don’t even know why they are mad anymore. I am tired of selfishness that has people wanting their way more than wanting God’s way. I am tired of people thinking their way is God’s ways as if the ways of God were not a mystery that none of us will ever get close to scratching the surface of what is actually happening. But this too is a small weariness really. I am tired. 

I am tired. I am tired of weather that floods our cities and leaves hundreds of acres of land scorched like the desert. I am tired of tsunamis and hurricanes, of tornadoes and earthquakes, of mudslides and never ending droughts. I am tired of the way this leaves holes in communities for years, sometimes decades. I am tired of the perpetual state of fear it puts into many worrying about the next natural disaster and the devastation it will cause. I am tired. 

I am very tired. I am very tired of hearing about greed in the world and the extreme poverty of some. I am so very tired of the violence in Africa and the Middle East. I am tired and heartbroken to see the way human beings are being stored like cattle, fenced and prodded along or stuffed into trains without certainty of life. I am very tired of seeing and hearing about human hate leading to loss of life over ideologies, differences of opinions, and understandings of religion. I am so very tired of the terror groups, mass murders, lack of concern for human life over an ideology, and the absolute confounded response of those who know this is wrong, but simply don’t know or can’t implement a viable alternative. I am very tired. I am tired to the point of exhaustion over the senseless lives lost to suicide, to homicide, depression, mental instability, anger, malice, rage, racism, sexism, misguided ideologies, selfishness, lack of respect for basic humanity, and the shortsightedness of not being able to see the God-Spark in every single human being God created. I am so very tired of people killing one another and killing themselves.

I am tired, very tired of these things: but I am not giving up. I do believe God has called each of us, myself included, to be a light that shines in the darkness that the darkness cannot and will not overcome. I do believe we are called to be the witnesses that say, “Are you tired and heavy burdened, come I know someone who can carry the load. Put on His yoke, follow His way, and live the way He did.”

I may be tired, but I am not giving up. We as followers of God have the hope of salvation, the balm for the nations, the peace that passes all understanding, the way that leads to life, the one who loves the downcast, outcast, and least of these, the bread of life and cool cup of water that once you eat and drink from that table you will never hunger and thirst again. 

Be encouraged, if God is for us, no one can stand against us. So I will go on being tired, I will go on being enraged by hate, I will go on grieving the devaluation of life, I will go on weeping over the dead gone to preventable disease and anger. I will go on, but I will not lose hope and I will not stop telling people about God. But today I will confess at this moment of weakness, I am tired, so pray for me and pray for God to move.

For the Kingdom,
Jonathan Barlow