These words from the book of Jeremiah, the third major prophet during the exile period in the Scriptures, a most difficult time, encouraged God’s people that every weary soul would be revived. As caretakers, we long for replenishing – to be nourished and fully built up again. Most times in our constant fatigue and weariness, we have difficulty believing this is possible.
We can take hope from the many references in the Bible about restoration and the exiles do discover God’s promised future when they are returned and restored. God remakes us from within and we are called to give Him our cares and troubles, so He can give us the power to continue the journey with our loved ones, who depend on us for caretaking. Before we can nourish others, we must replenish ourselves with vital self-care. There is nothing wrong with taking five or ten minutes to soak up the love and mercy of God. We can’t change a medical prognosis, but with God’s grace can find acceptance and empowerment in our prayer times and not carry this alone. Being open, we discover that everything that happens can teach us.
We are comforted by the words of Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” When we lay our burdens on Him and rest in His love, God works out His purpose and plan. (He can see the entire picture, we can’t.) God feels our pain, even when we don’t recognize this. While we can’t choose the cards life has dealt us, our control is in how we react to life’s difficulties, particularly with our decreasing vitality and strength.
Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” Trials may come in abundance, but trusting and holding onto the Lord, we can find hope and peace that God walks with us and has our backs. It will benefit, as we are aware that negative thoughts are usually full of fear and doubt and positive ones are full of faith and hope. Learning to laugh at ourselves and have a sense of humor is also invaluable, as are recognizing the blessings in the moment, even if they are few, plus practicing gratitude.
Being attentive to the lesson of emotions, by acting as an observer of your own physical, emotional and spiritual states, can aid in the way one responds and hopefully enables us to avoid overwhelming weariness. Feeling compassion for the inner suffering and unique blessedness of those to whom we offer care, needs to include compassion for ourselves and nurturing our relationship with the Lord. Are you too busy for yourself? Can you make the choice to rest and replenish in the Lord? Comments welcome.