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Weariness Archives

November 21, 2003

Hanging on His Words

Everyday he was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill him. Yet they couldn't find any way to do it, because all the people hung on his words. Luke 19:47-48

The people couldn't get enough of Jesus. They hung on his words.

Have you ever done that? Have you heard someone speak, and you didn't want him to stop? Time begins to drag on, but it is of no concern. You simply want to hear more. I have a friend who recently heard former president George H.W. Bush speak at a luncheon, and that was how he described it; he could have listened for hours.

Lord, I want to hang on Your words, but sometimes they wear me out. Did Your disciples grow weary from trying to understand? Every parable has a deeper meaning; every word is life-changing. But sometimes it seems to be more than I can handle.

We expect Your kingdom to appear at once, and You tell us to wait. You call us to give more than we receive, and we will be rewarded in heaven.

I just want Your Word. Pour it into me today.

December 16, 2003

Trained to Be Invisible

She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

Hagar felt invisible. As a servant, she was trained to be invisible. She was not a member of the family. She was to be the quiet helper who was never heard and always unnoticed. But one day it all changed. Sarai grew impatient with God’s timing, and she gave Hagar to Abram in hopes of having children in the house. Hagar went from the invisible maidservant to the “other woman” in the house. Sarai grew hostile, and Hagar ran away – hoping to again become invisible.

But God saw her. He spoke to her in the depths of her distress. She realized that, to God, she was never invisible. He had seen her all along.

Lord, sometimes I feel like I was trained to become invisible. The youngest boy in a family of six children – somewhere along the way I disappeared. I am the classic “lost child” in a dysfunctional family. Rather than fighting for attention, I got lost. I learned the unique skill of fading into the background – of being completely alone in the crowd.

Father, I am tired of being invisible. You see me, and that should be enough. Help me to come out of the shadows. Shine Your light so brightly that others take notice, but let them be blessed by Your light reflecting from me – not from anything I can claim.

Spirit, fill me so full that Your peace pours out on all I meet.

December 29, 2003

Abraham's Patience

So the field and the cave in it were deeded to Abraham by the Hittites as a burial site. Genesis 23:20

Abraham had moved about the land of Canaan for almost half his life when his wife Sarah died. He owned a great deal. He was a very wealthy man. But he lacked one important possession: a place to bury her.

Could you imagine living most of your life moving about a land that God has promised you, and when you need it most, the land still isn’t yours? Abraham had no choice but to ask for a place, then pay a ridiculous price for it. Sarah was buried at Hebron, a city that would someday be a place of refuge.

How frustrating it must have been! The first permanent dwelling place Abraham bought for Sarah was her final resting place.

Lord, I don’t think I am as patient as Abraham was. To spend most of your life wandering about and never holding a deed for what is meant to be yours! I confess that I want it now. Help me to be content with Your timetable. Help me to accept that some things will not come in this life. Help me to see Your will, regardless of the gain – or the wait.

March 2, 2004

The Work Is Too Heavy

"You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone." Exodus 18:18

Delegation is not a sign of weakness. Moses needed to learn this lesson. He was the leader God had chosen, so the people demanded a great deal from him. Every day they cam to him to settle disputes. From morning till night, Moses provided wise counsel and informed the people of God's laws.

Wise counsel is a good thing, but Moses was carrying the load alone. Eventually, he would burn out, and the people would be discouraged.

Father, if there is a problem I have always had as a manager, it is delegation. What keeps me from delegating? Am I afraid someone can't do it as well as I can? Do I not trust them to be complete and accurate? We both know how imperfect I am. Why should I expect more from others?

I believe my greatest struggle is with dividing the task in a manner that others can help me. Lord, help me to organize my work in such a way that others can be a part. Forgive me for taking on too much. I am only holding back those around me. The work is too heavy for me; I cannot handle it alone.

March 9, 2004

With One Voice

When Moses went and told the people all the Lord's words and laws, they responded with one voice, "Everything the Lord has said we will do." Exodus 24:3

Have you ever been a part of something great? How wonderful it is to be a part of something greater than ourselves! To be a part of a group focused on a goal. When a group is truly committed, they seem to speak with one voice. Each person seems to share the same vision. Each person seems to fully support the others in accomplishing the goal.

How is it that one voice so easily becomes two - then three?

Lord, I really don't understand human nature. Together, we can commit to something - fully intending to accept what the group determines. Yet selfish desire gets in the way. Dissension rises, and a single mindset is splintered into many.

That seems to be the description of my job lately. All the changes we have experienced have been for the better. But the many voices sometimes wear me out.

Help me, Father, to not be the dissenting voice. Help me to focus on Your will and seek it. Help those in leadership to continue to seek You as well. Together, we will see Your will accomplished. Bless us, Lord, so we might bless those around us. Help us to speak with one voice.

March 15, 2004

Weary With Detail

"This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for generations to come." Exodus 27:21b

I wonder if Moses grew weary from recording the laws and instructions God gave him on Mount Sinai. What was it like? Was he excited? Did he think, "Oh, boy! More instructions!"

Lord, I confess that I grow weary as I read the detail. Normally, I like to look beyond the words of Scripture - to think about the inspiration I gain from it - how it applies to my life. But I am struggling to see how the lasting ordinances for the Israelites through the design of the tabernacle apply to me. Help me to see what Moses saw. This WAS an exciting revelation. For the first time since the creation of Adam, You were establishing a system of worship. Before this time, many built altars to You - many worshiped You, but now there was a central place that drew Your people together.

For the first time, Your Chosen People could be identified as Yours. In their midst would be Your tabernacle - a place where You would dwell - a place where sacrifices were made and where holy lamps were kept burning night after night.

Just over three months earlier, the Israelites had left Egypt, a place where the entire culture was centered around the worship of many, many gods. For four hundred years, Jacob's descendants had lived in a land steeped in religious ritual that was not their own. Now, the ritual would be theirs, and it would be centered on the One True God.

There it is! The application I seek!

Lord, we still live in a world that chases many other gods. Although the rituals are varied, they are still there. Help me to set myself apart. Help me to be identified as one who worships only You. Be at the center of my life. Continue to build Your tabernacle in my heart.

April 1, 2004

Do you marvel or do you grumble?

All the tent pegs of the tabernacle and of the surrounding courtyard were bronze. Exodus 38:20

Can you imagine the man-hours it took to make the Tent of Meeting? Every curtain was fine embroidery. Every piece of wood was covered with bronze or gold. Every utensil was fashioned by hand. Over seven tons of metal - gold, silver, and bronze - were used in its making.

I wonder how long it took to make it... I wonder how long it took to put it up then take it down.

The Israelites were living in the desert. Eventually, they would wander for forty years carrying the tabernacle wherever they went. How many tent pegs did it take to hold it up? I'm sure it was enough to make a boy scout shudder! How wearisome it must have been when the word came: "Time to move again!" Did the Levites marvel or did they grumble at those words?

Lord, I am weary from the tasks of every day, yet I am thankful for them. Help me to marvel at the opportunities of life. Thank You for the health to accomplish them.

May 22, 2004

I'm Done!

"If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now - if I have found favor in your eyes - and do not let me face my own ruin." Numbers 11:15

Moses was fed up with the pressure. The stress of dealing with people who were never satisfied - who thought only of themselves and their misery - was too great. He literally wished to die. There weariness was too much; he told God that he was done.

Lord, I have a friend who has been exhibiting the signs of the same weariness Moses felt. No matter what he does, the people under his authority grumble and complain. Nothing he does is good enough, and the weight seems too great. I don't know how to advise him. My words of encouragement can only go so far. Each day, he faces the same old challenge. I know he turns to You, but Your intervention is slow in coming.

In the case of Moses, You started by sharing the burden with others. You poured out Your Spirit on seventy leaders. Through Your Spirit, these men prophesied - they had eyes to see the vision You held for Your children. They could probably see the future You had in store - the promised land - the fulfillment of a covenant made long ago. Lord, pour Yourself upon others that surround my friend. The weight of this burden must be shared, or my friend will break.

In addition to sharing the burden, You gave the people what they wanted. The people grumbled for meat, so You sent them more quail than they could eat for a whole month. They grew sick of the meat for which they so often begged. Sometimes, an arrogant "I told you so" seems appropriate - even for those who don't know You. Father, provide what is needed to meet and surpass the moanings and groanings around my friend. Give them no reason to complain. Give them more than they want, so they will shut their mouths.

Finally, in the story of Moses, Your anger burned, and some were struck by a plague. The place where they were stayed was called Kibroth Hattaavah, which means "graves of craving." Their cravings were their downfall. You literally removed some of the dissenters from their midst. Lord, in the case of my friend, remove the dissenting voices that refuse to be silent.

There are three things that I ask of You Lord. In whatever way You choose, provide these: a means to share the burden, a means to meet and surpass the need, and a means to remove the dissension.

Shine Lord! Let Your Spirit be seen by those with eyes to see You. Intervene. Help us to enjoy the fulfillment of Your purpose. May You be glorified in all we do.

May 25, 2004

Will I Ever Believe?

The Lord said to Moses, "How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the miraculous signs I have performed among them?" Numbers 14:11

I have seen miraculous signs in my day - children healed from rare diseases, others kept alive despite the odds, marriages torn apart by anger and hate that have been restored. Why do I find it so tough to believe sometimes?

Lord, I keep losing my focus. Rather than seeing how Your hand has provided through trial after trial, I only see the struggles in front of me. Is it too late to turn back to You? Have I walked about in unbelief for so long that like the Israelites, I will wander for the rest of my life?

Let it never be! Your grace is sufficient - even in deserts. Father, I don't know what is in store. Forgive me for not trusting You. I can occupy the promised land with You by my side.

June 29, 2004

No More!

And you said, "The Lord our God has shown us his glory and his majesty, and we have heard his voice from the fire. Today we have seen that a man can live even if God speaks with him. But now, why should we die? This great fire will consume us, and we will die if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any longer." Deuteronomy 5:24-25

The glory and majesty of the Lord is great. How an I ever survive in the Presence? Like the Israelites, I grow weary from gazing at the Lord's glory and hearing His voice. How is it that I would ever choose to turn my eyes and ears toward the darkness and evil of this world?

Why is it, Lord, that I can only bear You for just so long? My heart is fickle. Your holiness is so great that I fear I will be consumed. One moment, I long to be consumed; the next moment I fear it.

Father, I'm tired. I'm tired of fighting the battle for holiness. I'm tired of this darkness that consumes my heart. If only You would consume me. It seems that every day I search for another reason to continue. What an existence it is to daily ask the question, "Why should I remain?" I seem to live my life more concerned about those I would disappoint if I were to leave. Why can I not live in the joy of what I offer the world rather than the misery, dwelling upon the harm I would cause by leaving it?

Jesus, I need a reason to stay - a reason that goes beyond family and friends. Lord, I need purpose. Or is that what Your purpose is all about? Family and friends? Joys and disappointments?

Consume me, Lord. Let me hear Your voice.

September 19, 2004

Indispensable Weakness

On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable... 1 Corinthians 12:22

Have you ever felt like the world would be better off without you? For whatever reason, you feel your weakness makes you worthless. Paul tells us the weak parts of the body are indispensable. Every part supports the others - even the little ones - even the weak ones.

Have you ever considered the importance bones are to the body? Strong bones are vital to our strength. If they are weak, we can be easily broken by the loads we carry. Like the human body, the Body of Christ needs strong bones - those who create the skeleton, the framework for the work to be done.

Consider another question. How can the tiniest of bones - the tiniest of Christians - make a difference? The tiniest bones in the body may not be where you expect. These are the bones in the ear. Without them, we cannot hear as God designed.

I am a musician. Years ago, I started to lose my hearing. Little by little, it became more difficult to understand the spoken words around me, and before I knew it, there was an entire octave at the lowest end of the scale that I simply couldn't hear. Hearing aids helped some, but without them, I could barely make out the accompaniment beneath me.

I knew what the problem was. I have otosclerosis. My father has it. My guess is his father probably had it, too. Otosclerosis is a hereditary condition that causes the stapes bone - the bone shaped like a horseshoe in the middle ear - to soften. When this tiny bone is weakened, sound cannot be conducted properly, and the lowest frequencies never make it to the inner ear.

Thankfully, we live in a time when medical miracles abound. Now, in my ears are two tiny wires, shaped like the pistons in a car and no more than seven-tenths of a millimeter thick. These tiny wires are doing the work that the stapes could no longer do. Oh, my hearing will never be perfect, but I am grateful - there is so much that I was missing and didn't even realize it. Music has come to life again. For years I feared the worst - all because the tiniest of bones was indispensable to me.

Lord, help me to understand the importance I am to Your Body. At times I feel that I am simply too weak to make a difference. Help me to see how indispensable I am. Help me to see those around me that I couldn't live without. Use me, Father, no matter how tiny I might feel.

September 22, 2004

Working Harder

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them - yet not I, but the grace of God that was in me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

For some of us, God's grace has to work harder. Somehow, we find ourselves in deeper pits, in darker caves, in places so tough to reach that His Spirit has to spend most of His time trying to reach us. Walking with Him isn't our biggest concern. Merely taking one breath at a time and putting one foot in front of the other become our primary goals.

Lord, there have been times in my life that it seems I am only surviving by the oxygen you are pumping in to me. Like a miner trapped in the bottom of a mine, I am surrounded by darkness. But I refuse to die. I refuse to be discouraged.

Send Your healing rain. Help me to say, "I'm not afraid!" By Your grace, I am healed from the most powerful infirmity of all; I am freed from sin and death. Bring me to life today!

October 17, 2004

Wake Up!

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Joy, patience, and faithfulness - these characteristics represent the kind of person I want to be. They are a picture of wholeness that only comes from a Spirit-filled life.

So why do they so often elude me?

Lord, I too often lose hope. I too often wallow in my affliction, and I too rarely turn to You in prayer. There have been times in my life when I couldn't stop praying. My spirit was continually communing with You - even in the midst of the busiest days. Yet now, I feel like I have fallen asleep. Like the disciples on the night Jesus was arrested, I am weary. I am asleep in the garden.

Awaken my spirit, Father. Draw me close. Make me a joyful, patient, and prayerful man.

October 25, 2004

No Safer Place

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

Why does sleep so often elude me? Why is my spirit in such turmoil? Will I ever feel completely safe? Will I ever be whole? Or will I live out my life in brokenness?

Lord, You offer safety, and I almost run from it. You offer wholeness and healing - true peace and contentment, and I seem to push them away.

There are times, Spirit, when You awaken me. You call to me in the darkness of night. Some of our greatest moments have been in the early hours of the morning. Yet there have been many times that the turmoil of my heart keeps me from sleep. Which has it been lately? Are you trying to get my attention? Or am I overwhelmed with worry?

Father, I confess that my own stubborn heart has kept me from becoming the man You have called me to be. The things I hate, I do. The things I do, I shouldn't be doing. Will I ever let go? Will I ever completely surrender? Will I ever sleep in peace? You alone provide the safe place. Help me to seek Your face. Bring me into Your presence. There is no safer place than in Your arms.

March 19, 2005

Will I make it?

They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, "The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him." Psalm 92:14-15

I hope I never stop bearing fruit.

Yet, sometimes I wonder.

Will I make it? Do I have what it takes to finish this race? When I am old, will I still be serving the One who made me? Or will I be alone - forsaken because I grew weary in this search for holiness and walked away from the truth?

Lord, I'm tired. I'm weak. With my mouth I proclaim You, but my spirit is silent. My sin nature is whispering, "Come away with me." Help me to find rest in Your arms. Save me, Jesus. Forgive my failures.

April 23, 2005

A Bubbling Brook

He will drink from a brook beside the way; therefore he will lift up his head. Psalm 110:7

What is so special about a brook?

Consider a long journey on a hot day. Consider making this journey with no water. How long would you last? The heat of the sun would quickly drive you to your knees.

But what would it be like if on this journey you stumbled across a bubbling brook? Would you bypass it? Would you simply step over it and say, "How beautiful the water is!"?

Of course not! From the very hand of God, a brook brings life to a thirsty, dying man.

Lord, I have spent so much time gazing at You. Like a thirsty man admiring the beauty of a brook, I have merely watched Your healing waters flow. I am so thirsty. Drive me to my knees. I need to drink deeply from the Water that can save me. Forgive me for venturing out alone. Help me to finish this journey. Refresh my soul with the brook that flows from Your throne.

May 1, 2005

A Place to Rest

Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:7

There's something that all roller coasters have in common. No matter how high, how fast, or how long, every rollercoaster eventually stops back where it started.

Life is the same way. No matter how tumultuous it may seem, eventually we find ourselves back in that same place of peace - that is, if we have ever been there.

The only true source of peace is the arms of Jesus. If one has never been there, it is impossible to understand real peace and rest. But for those who know Him personally, there is no other place where the soul can find rest.

Jesus, take me back to the beginning - to that place of rest in Your arms. I'm tired of roller coasters. Can we ride the merry-go-round for awhile?

May 10, 2005

The Right Advice

Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors. Psalm 119:24

I've always heard people say the Bible contains all the answers.

It is interesting, however, how most Christians will run to their friends for advice, they will listen to encouraging words on the radio, or they will read some new self-help book, but rarely do they open the very Word of God.

Lord, I'm tired. I know the answers are in Your Word, yet lately it has been a challenge to listen for them. The many tasks of life keep overwhelming me. I expect my lack of motivation lately is a result of my refusal to get out of bed - to meet You in the early morning. Help me, Spirit, to start my days listening for Your advice. Give me clarity of thought today.

May 11, 2005

Recounting the Journey

I recounted my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:26

Most of life is about destinations.

When was the last time you left some place and didn't intend to get anywhere? Going for the sake of going isn't the norm. Even the likes of Forrest Gump, who went out for a run one day and simply kept going, eventually arrived at a destination - back home where he had started.

Every child has asked the questions, "Are we there yet? How much farther?" Normally our eyes are focused on how much farther we have to go before we will arrive at our destination. It isn't often we hear the question, "How far have we gone?"

However, it is sometimes important to ask that question because sooner or later we may be asking ourselves if the journey is worth the effort. Our weariness might cause us to quit, but recognizing how far we have traveled, recounting the journey taken thus far, can bring renewed hope for reaching the destination.

Recovery is like that. So often it feels like you'll never get where you want to be. Remembering how far you have come - how much you have grown - is sometimes the only way to find the strength to put one foot in from of the other. Going back isn't an option - no matter how much longer it is going to take.

Lord, help me to recount my ways. Help me to see how far I have traveled on this journey called life. The destination is in reach.

May 28, 2005

Remember, God is Near

Yet you are near, O Lord, and all your commands are true. Psalm 119:151

Life would be a lot easier if we could remember that God is always near. All our anxieties, worries, temptations, and fear would appear tiny compared to Him. And choosing sin over righteousness would be that easy if we were ever-mindful of His presence.

Lord, sometimes I seem to forget about You. Somehow, I find myself in a place where I am the only god that exists. I know this sounds arrogant, but unfortunately it is true. For a moment, the enemy's lies about being like You seem to be attainable. It is in this place that I lose control. Depression and darkness are my closest companions in this place.

Help me to remember You are near.

June 21, 2005

Life is Hard!

See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:24

Why is the journey of life so difficult at times?

It seems that at every turn there is another fork in the road, another choice that either leads to a place of peace or a place of pain. And regardless of the outcome, it seems to take so much work! If only we could learn to see around the next corner.

How can we know what lies ahead?

Lord, there are so many times I wish I could back up to take another road - so many times I wish I had chosen the easy way. Your way leads to life eternal, but the path is sometimes tougher to walk than I expected. Help me to put one foot in front of the other. I'm getting weary.

Will You carry me for awhile?

February 17, 2006

One Row at a Time

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

Sometimes I want to simply give up! How much more can one person take? It seems that far too many weeds have overtaken the good things in life. How will I ever reap a harvest?

One row at a time.

Lord, in the past I would have searched for an escape hatch. There are so many things pressing down on me - so many things I need to finish. I don't have the strength to work the garden anymore. But You do. Send harvesters to help. Show me how to ask for help. Help me to not give up.

February 28, 2006

Extinguished Fire?

"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled." Luke 12:49

Fire is on my mind this morning.

Yesterday, there was an enormous fire in town. A series of explosions at a propane distributor filled the sky with the blackest smoke you'll ever see. Almost eighteen thousand pounds of propane burned for several hours. Fighting the fire was almost too dangerous. Firefighters could only watch, spraying cool water on other tanks to keep them from exploding as well. Small propane tanks, like missiles in battle, rained down on anything nearby. Amazingly, no one was injured. Having purchased my propane from this company several times, I was concerned about the employees. Praise the Lord. They are safe!

Today, I wonder about another fire, a fire of passion that burns within me. Has it quit burning? Do I have a desire that still burns within me to change the world - to share the hope of Christ with the lost? Or have I grown too weary? Have I become so overwhelmed by the smoke, that I can no longer stoke the fire?

Lord, I know most of the answers. I know that You are the Source of the flame - that to burn brightly I need to draw near to You. But truthfully, I'm tired. Even now as I am closer to starting new journeys, I question my strength and ability to complete them.

Has the fire been extinguished?

Everywhere I turn, I seem to be putting out fires, but it seems the very fire in me has died to nothing. There are embers, but I have no means to purchase the fuel I need. The places I once bought it are gone. Help me to find the fuel of Your choosing. Rekindle the fire that burned in me.

Draw me close to Your flames.

May 2, 2006

Too Hard to Trim

So, as the Holy Spirit says, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert." Hebrews 3:7

How are our hearts hardened? Do we suddenly wake up one morning and say, "Today, my heart is hardened!"

Of course not. A heart is hardened gradually.

Little by little, before we even realize it is happening, we become dry and hard. Like moist clay that isn't well covered, the living water in us merely evaporates.

Lord, I feel like I'm drying out - bit by bit. This morning, I discovered several pieces of pottery that weren't well covered. It might be too late. Sometimes, wrapping them tightly after spraying them can save them. Other times, it is best to start at the beginning.

Where am I? Am I worth salvaging? Or is it time to crush me and start again? Wrap me tightly, Father. Holy Spirit, douse me in Your Living Water, so I might become soft enough to trim. I've felt so disconnected - not alone, but disconnected and dry. Help me to come alive again.

(Postscript... the pieces were too dry to save. What does that mean, Lord?)

May 21, 2006

The Incredible Shrinking Man

But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10:39

Do I have what it takes to make it through the challenges of life?

Will I be remembered as one who shrinks - as the incredible shrinking man? Or will I be thought of as one who persevered - who fulfilled God's plan in life?

Lord, my only hope is Your Holy Spirit. When I feel alone, I am vulnerable to the enemy. I am more prone to lean on sin to save me. But sin does not save. Sin destroys. How do we so easily believe the enemy's lies? How can we believe that the pleasures of this life - the escapes from this life - can save us from its turmoil?

Father, I'm weary. I feel alone - despite Your Amazing Spirit. Will You show Yourself to me?

I believe.

About Weariness

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to The Potter's Hand in the Weariness category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Weakness is the previous category.

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