The weakness of exhaustion
Breaking over me now
As I sit amidst the flurry of life
Beaten head over brow.
I’ve done everything I can
There’s nothing left of me
Suddenly thwarted of perspective
Suddenly I cannot see.
Time erodes like acid etch
Everything closing in
I simply want the simple life
Some stillness beyond the spin.
It’s not often I’m struck by a fatigue that comes from nowhere – a spiritual attack if ever there were one – a by-product of burnout suffered nearly ten years ago – but it does come in from time to time. Then I must escape, for a few hours or a day. The next day I’m fine, generally.
When I faced such a tiredness-inducing languor recently, I looked to the heavens and asked, “From where does my help come from?”
Help came. In the moment of my admitting that I was too weak to do it on my own, the help I needed came. Even if it came the following day.
Spiritual help can come in an instant – a miracle – or it can come later – still a miracle.
In tiredness can come the rationale to slow down and get the rest required. Sometimes we are the only ones who can help ourselves. In this way, God helps those who help themselves.
Something happens to us in our late 30s and early 40s. We begin to realise we are not in control. Yes, we really realise it in practice and not just in theory. We begin to understand at a deeper level that ‘being strong’ and ‘getting up off the canvas’ and ‘toughening up’ don’t work like they used to.
God gives us some uniquely perplexing problems to deal with, which we don’t have the resources for. He allows these problems so we will develop these resources.
When weakness breaks over us – when we feel defeated – the best idea is to be honest before God and rest, saying, “Lord, take me in, in my weakness. Give me your rest. Help me to surrender my pitiable strength.”
There are moments of life we feel so overwhelmed and hopeless that we cannot go on. In weakness we are close to God, if we are honest and present ourselves as weak. Weakness is the direct path to God’s strength, and surrender is the avenue.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.