The year is rapidly drawing to a close. December 25 has come and gone. Soon the presents will be put away, the fancy dishes will be stashed until next year, the family will go home or has left already, and the radio will get back to playing regular songs.
And I bet you’re tired.
The holidays are such a flurry, and you can usually run on adrenaline and Christmas cookies for a while. But when the dust settles, you realize your weariness.
Maybe as this year draws to a close, you’re tired of things being the same. Or you are tired of things changing all the time. Maybe you’re tired of politics on a national and domestic scale or of listening to the news and only hearing problems. You might be tired of demands, tired of failures, tired of grief, tired of doing your best. You’re worn out on a deeper level than just the body—you’re tired on a soul level.
When our bodies are tired, a good night of sleep does wonders. But when our souls are weary, where do we turn?
In the Old Testament book of 1 Kings, there was a prophet named Elijah who felt the same way—tired on a soul level. In chapter 18, he was seemingly on top of the world; Elijah had just called on God to send fire from heaven to prove the Lord’s power to hundreds of gathered false prophets, and God did it (1 Kings 18:19-40)! Yet when his life was threatened by the corrupt queen Jezebel right after that victory, “Elijah was afraid, and ran for his life” (1 Kings 19:3). When he was far enough away, “[Elijah] came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, Lord,’ he said. ‘Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.’ Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep” (19:4.5).
Elijah needed a break. He had been working so hard for God and finally hit a wall. He was exhausted.
How did God deal with Elijah’s weariness?
God let Elijah take a nap, and when he woke up, an angel gave him food (19:6)! Later, God showed Elijah his mighty power in wind and earthquakes and comforted Elijah with a gentle whisper (19:11-13). God also told him that he wasn’t as alone as he felt; there were seven thousand other people in the country who were still faithful to God (19:18)! Shortly thereafter, God blessed Elijah with a helper prophet named Elisha (19:19-21). Ultimately, God gave Elijah the distinct privilege of not having to die and took him straight from earth to heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11).
Our God is a God of compassion. He knows that we are not perfect; we get weak and worn out. We are sinful people who can never be holy by ourselves. God knows how to sympathize with us because he sent his Son, Jesus, to become a human and live alongside us. Jesus lived a perfect life, died an impossible death, and rose from the dead in our place. When we are tired, the Bible comforts us with this truth: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:28,29).
If you are ending the year running on fumes, know that God loves you enough to die for you and understands how tired you are. Take the account of Elijah as an example, and rest your body. Remember God’s power, and relax into his unchangeable love. Remember that you are not alone; there are thousands of other people who love and follow Christ just like you! Pray that God places someone in your life to encourage you in your journey of faith, and cling to the hope of heaven. Tired Christian—God is there for you!
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31).