“When our enemies heard that their plot was known to us, and that God had frustrated it, we returned to the wall, and each to his work.”
~Nehemiah 4:15 (NRSV).
For a day or a time we all feel it. I call it ‘BLAH’. It is unexplainable in many ways and we just don’t feel at all close to the top of our game. Its inexplicability registers with significance on the spiritual quotient.
Nehemiah’s insightful leadership is known at this point of tempted spiritual discouragement. Whenever enemies threaten we feel it. Today, as always, our chief enemy is our minds — how we’re tempted to think.
Truth AND Lies
There is weariness that we ought to listen to and there’s weariness that we ought to ignore. Knowing the difference between these two is a vast wisdom.
Our enemies — our minds when in overload — are informing us via both truth and lies; confusion being the modus operandi... too much information.
There’s hardly anything more serious than genuine burnout but then there’s the sense of vicarious discouragement which is best simply ignored. The latter can be likened to people building the wall — they heard and believed the discouragement and were tempted to discontinue.
But, encouragement with a plan usually counters discouragement most effectively.
Countering The Nature of ‘BLAH’ – Rest is Best
Resounding tiredness is generally a sign to be listened to. It’s always good to respond to these feelings.
The ‘BLAH’ feeling, though it’s unexplained, is generally not completely pervasive, but it’s best listened to. Rest is best. Spiritual tiredness can be very effectively treated by attending to symptoms most known for treating physical, mental and emotional fatigue. Gentle whispers heard of encouragement, recognition and feedback help; and if not from others, we can certainly hear it from the Lord!
It’s necessary to go easy on ourselves and take that long-deserved break, even if it’s just the rest of the day.
Once the enemy’s plot is known to us we should decisively conclude for one of either action. Either we rest completely or we disregard the barbs coming thick and fast. The latter one, however, can’t be our answer every time.
Sometimes we really do need to listen to what our lives are telling us, and that is to rest. During this time we seek the encouragement we need and we build our strength, which enables us to return to our walls of life. If we detect a con, however, we just report to our wall and continue as we were.
Knowing when, how and how frequently to rest, drawing close to our Lord, is optimising God’s unique resource — us. Sustainability of service should be among our highest goals; to finish the race well.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.