After more than two weeks of helping Momma care for Dad as he made his transition from hospital to nursing home rehab facility, I’m home! I don’t think I’ve ever been as thankful to be home with my guys and furry critters as I was at the conclusion of this trip. I’m tired, like an old pair of blue jeans that just can’t provide your fabulousness any more support. You know that pair of jeans don’t you? It’s the pair that always made for the perfect outfit. They were the comfy ones that you always turned to when you wanted to feel great. Over time though, they became tired. Their color began to fade, the fabric softened, and the seams began to show the stories of the multitude of times they were worn. They went from the perfect fabulous outfit completion to the perfect comfort companion. The jeans that you wear when you feel like you need a big hug. That’s how I’m feeling. Tired.
There’s more to this tired feeling. It’s tired like I’ve never before experienced. Tired, accompanied by worn. Google says the definition of worn is, “damaged and shabby as a result of much use.” Yep! That describes me. I feel shabby, and overused. My brain hurts from all of the information it has attempted to absorb in a few short weeks. Couple that with tired, and that’s me. The once fabulous pair of blue jeans that needs to be retired before your seams begin to bust loose! No one wants to see all of your fabulousness busting out all over in that manner! Just sayin’!
My first night home I slept. I took the next day and rested in my chair, enjoying the calmness of my family on a Saturday. Even though I had slept, I still felt worn. Exhausted…mentally and emotionally. I had been stuffing down so much emotion during my trip that I could feel the tears welling up in my throat. They were ready to bubble over at any moment. Tired had been settled with a good night’s sleep. Worn had not begun to be managed.
Like many times when I seek peace and calm, I began to read scripture. I brought out my sketch book, and began a little Bible journaling. I love the opportunity to artfully worship the Lord. Maybe that would help relieve my sense of being worn. I meditated on not worrying, and trying not to fear. Then, I asked the Lord to give me a verse to which I might cling while I tried to regain my composure. My God never fails to have just exactly what I need. Matthew 11:28 is what he provided.
“Come to me all you who labor and a heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 Come to me stood out to me first. God said that I could come to him. I imagined myself, a small child, crawling up in my Father’s lap…snuggling, and being calmed. Come to me. God isn’t suggesting I might come to him. He isn’t asking me if I want to. He is commanding me. Come. It’s almost as if God is holding his arms out, ready to catch me when I fall into him. He doesn’t stop there.
“All you who labor.” Labor is used as a very hard work in this case. A great effort was made. God acknowledges that the work was difficult, and tiring. Whether emotional, or physical work, it was difficult. Exhaustion is to be expected. Then, God takes it a step further and says, “…and heavy laden.” What does that mean…heavy laden? Quite simply, it means burdened or weighted down. You know when your heart hurts for someone, or when you feel distressed because something didn’t go as you expected. That’s that feeling of being heavy laden. Heavy laden is that feeling of carrying the world on your shoulders.
There is no need to worry. God sees your fatigue, he understands your burden, and He will give you rest. How does he do that? How does he take this tired, worn, old pair of blue jeans and make me feel new and refreshed? He picks me up, and allows me to rest physically. Then, restores my spirit by taking my burdens on as his own. It’s then that he carries me, and allows me restoration. Worry, hurt, and overwhelming emotion turn to a fresh newness in my spirit. He transforms me into a beautiful new pair of jeans…ready to support all of the fabulousness God has for me. He makes me again, ready to do his work, ready for another day of helping further his kingdom.
Want to know what’s even better? He can do the same for you!
Dear Father God, I praise you Father for who you are. I thank you for being willing to pick me up when I am tired and worn. I thank you Lord for taking on my burdens as your own. Father, for caring so much that you restore me to a feeling of fresh newness. I thank you Lord for making me beautiful, and for adopting me into your family. I thank you Lord for allowing me to work in your kingdom, doing your will, with refreshment in my spirit thanks to the rest you’ve provided. I pray this in the precious name of Jesus. Amen