Yesterday it hit me while I was sitting at a large wooden table amidst stacks of books at my local library, my laptop plopped on the table while my fingers punched the computer keys to complete the final edit on a blog-post I’d written. I felt a deep gnawing pit growing in my stomach and I was having trouble focusing on the task at hand; I felt dizzy, an overall weakness.
I hadn’t eaten for 6 hours, probably 3 hours longer than I normally go without some type of sustenance.
I quickly pressed the ‘Shutdown’ button on my computer, waiting for the screen to blacken before packing up my laptop and exiting the building; my feet scurrying to take me to my car in the parking lot and begin the 20 minute ride home.
If you’re anything like me – hunger motivates you. I will change courses – I will make quick exits, even if it’s off the highway – when my stomach starts growling.
I listen. I act. I eat.
Yet, it hit me today that there are other types of hunger that I completely ignore.
Like weariness. A hunger for rest.
When I feel the beginning complaints of a deep down tired that won’t go away, signs of emotional burn out – when small irritations start to grow to out of control scales – red flags that I’m weakening somehow soul side – I often repress them.
“Later,” I tell myself. “In a day or two. Maybe next weekend you’ll have a couple hours to yourself,” I try to convince my weary soul.
I push through the weariness. I ignore the disappointment I’m feeling, or the grief, perhaps for some changes in my life. I remind myself, “Soon. I’ll deal with this feeling – soon. Just hold on.”
And, my body tries its best to hold on.
I try to quiet the inner urges – I try to suppress the longing for quiet, for free time, for freedom from the day to day pressures and busyness.
My body tries its best to follow ‘orders’ from my brain. It goes into overdrive – it attempts to recharge its battery through quick caffeine or sugar fixes, or entertaining media blips, or texts or calls with friends or loved ones.
Friends, it’s not working. You and I need to listen to our heart’s hunger for rest.
You and I need to accept our neediness – our weary condition.
You and I need to feed our souls. Nourish the deep places inside us that are hungry for rest.
You and I need to pull the plug on busyness and business (cancel the playdate, say ‘No’ to the committee position, perhaps skip the party), so we can sit in some quiet place and just be.
Just simply be.
Just be weary for a time.
Don’t ignore it. Don’t fight it. Sit with it. Name it. “I’m weary. My soul is tired.”
Listen to the truth about your today.
Allow yourself to feel your burdens – see what loads you’re carrying, see what expectations you’re living under.
Take a pause. A holy pause. The pause of recognition of our need for refreshment.
And, then, perhaps somewhere in the quiet moment we can invite God into the equation. Invite God to join us in our struggle for rest.
“Cease striving and know that I am God.”
Can we do it? Can we stop?
Can we cease our continual motion to get ahead, to fix things – our children, our spouses, our troubles?
“You have only to keep still. The battle is the Lords.”
What if that were the truth you and I lived with today?
That the battles we face today are the Lord’s? That we can stop fighting – stop trying to work things out and let God act and work on our behalf. Rather, allow God to strengthen us and satisfy our needs
What if you and I didn’t have to fix our lives, but rather we could live our lives in faith?
I leave you with the question – is your soul hungry and can you pause today and invite God in to your hungry places and listen for His quiet voice to speak to your heart?
“He has filled the hungry with good things.”
**Lord, help us to quiet our souls and listen to our heart’s needs. We ask You to fill our hungry hearts. To You be the glory!