I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid (John 14:27, NIV).
Friend to Friend
My mother had a special way of dealing with her “tired.” Mama sighed.
Mama’s sighing reminded me of an old steel pressure cooker she pulled out several times a year. You know – the kind that has a release valve on top. Mama cooked chickens, turkeys and various stews and soups in that pressure cooker. I could tell when the pressure was too high. In fact, everybody within a five-mile radius could tell when the pressure was too high. The valve on top started rattling like a volcano ready to blow. Next came a ridiculously loud whistle – the signal unless somebody turned down the fire, the cooker was going to explode.
Life is a lot like that. So many things make me tired. The pressure builds until I am ready to explode.
People break their promises. Why can’t people just do what they say they are going to do? And if they never intended to do it in the first place, why didn’t they just keep their mouths shut? They make me tired.
Friends don’t come through like I think they should. Aren’t we supposed to love and encourage each other instead of use each other to advance a personal agenda? Users make me tired.
Children make decisions that I would never in a million years make and I wonder what in the world they were thinking! My children can make me tired.
Our grandchildren never make me tired. They are perfect.
Financial pressures keep me awake at night. I know God will provide all of our needs, but why does He have to keep it a secret for so long? I just need details. I need to know that everything is going to be okay.
And then I remember that is where faith comes in – and it makes me tired.
I know I am supposed to be this big-time woman of faith. My husband pastors this humongous church for crying out loud. I write books and travel across the world speaking for women’s conferences, retreats and events – telling them how to handle all of the things that make them tired.
Physical pain wears me down and I get discouraged. When the doctor looked at me and said, “You have a classic case of fibromyalgia” I looked right back at him and said, “No thank you.” He looked at me like I had lost my mind. I did not want to have that disease because it hurts – all the stinkin’ time – and nobody seems to have the magic pill that will make it all go away.
And let me just tell you that I am all about “magic pills.” I thank God every morning for my drugs. I praise Him as I take my pills for depression, acid reflux disease, low thyroid … I forget the rest. Maybe there is a pill for that, but I can’t get that one yet since I don’t have any empty spots left in my pillbox.
Yes, I am thankful for each and every little pill that God has provided through the wisdom He has given doctors, counselors and psychiatrists. But I have to tell you that there are days when I cry out to God and remind Him that all of this junk makes me tired.
And I think of Mama. Was she this tired? I think so – and then some.
Physical – emotional – mental – spiritual weariness are all-too-familiar companions in my very stressed out world. Mama faced different kinds of trials. They made her tired just like my trials make me tired.
And trials – well, they come in all sizes, shapes and kinds. Sometimes it is the little things that get to me. I can’t find my car keys. My car battery is dead on the one morning I set aside to run every errand I needed to run for the entire month. I get to the cleaners five minutes after they closed. You know the kind of trials I am talking about. They may not necessarily change the course of life, but they are irritating nonetheless.
Then there are honest-to-goodness trials that kick you in the gut and drop you to your knees. A friend or family member calls in tears, needing comfort because their pathology report came back malignant. Another friend’s husband of over 30 years decides he is done, gets in his car and drives away. And that pastor we thought was so godly? He has been having an affair for months while his terminally ill wife lies in a bed at home. A friend is dead because his mentally ill brother shot him in the head and then killed himself. I am not making this stuff up.
Life is hard.
Life is daily.
Life makes me tired.
Sometimes people make me tired. Sometimes circumstances make me tired because I either created them with my own wrong choices, or I have to suffer the consequences of the wrong choices made by other people I love – or worse – wrong choices and absurd decisions made by people I don’t even like.
The fact is – we all have someone or something in our lives that make us tired.
What to do?
Take a deep, long breath as you count to ten. Pray as you breathe in, asking God to give you something for your pain. Now let that breath out and fill it with everything that is causing your pain.
There is also the quick sigh – when you gasp in air in to the count of 1.5 seconds and immediately let it explode. Mama sighed like that when people made her angry or when she was frustrated. But it seemed to work for her – both as a way of letting off some steam as well as sending a message to the person who caused Mama’s anger.
I have come to see the sighing technique perfected by Mama as a stellar way to deal with everything and everyone that makes me tired.
I breathe in the life-giving power and supernatural control of the Holy Spirit and exhale everything that is not of Him.
Next time you are tired, think about Mama and give it a try.
Let’ s Pray
Father, I am tired. I need Your power and supernatural control for every step of every day. Help me learn to fully trust You – even when life is hard.
In Jesus’ name,
Now It’s Your Turn
How would you define the concept of peace in your life? Is your heart and mind filled with chaos and stress instead of peace? Identify the source of stress in your life and make any adjustments necessary to bring that area under control. Write out your own “Peace Treaty” with God and share it with a friend. When you feel as if your life is spinning out of control, remember to rest in Him.
More from the Girlfriends
Need help? Check out Mary’s E-Bible Study, God’s Answer to Stress, for a message that will help you learn to experience God’s peace. And be sure to check out Mary’s new weekly Online Bible Study, From a Mess to a Miracle. Enroll now and have access to all 2013 lessons. And be sure to connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.