It was one of those days.
You know, those days when you wake up and still feel tired.
When everything seems to be falling apart and no matter how hard you try you can’t fix it.
When everyone is complaining about everything, and everyone is fighting.
When you look at your to-do list and it seems to stretch on for miles and you seriously consider throwing it in the trash and taking a nap instead.
When it seems like you can’t do anything right and you are ready to throw in the towel. And then you look at the clock and realize it’s only 9 am.
It was one of THOSE days.
I was weary, worn out, spent, exhausted, done.
And the day had just begun.
I trudged through my morning, forcing myself to get stuff clean, do laundry, and work my part-time at home job. I had a friend coming over that afternoon who is also my spiritual director at this time and I just knew I would be tired after her visit so I had to get it all done then.
When she came in, she commented on how tired I looked and I sighed saying, “It is not a good day.”
As we chatted that afternoon, I poured out my heart to her, she encouraged me and helped point me to the ways God could help me, and we prayed together. She mentioned later that I no longer looked tired. And I realized that her visit was exactly what I had needed. Sometimes we just need a good chat with a good friend.
Later on, I was thinking over our visit and looking at my notes, and I remembered mentioning that I felt weary on the battlefield. I think I like that analogy because I feel like I am in a battle every day. I am in a battle every day with a body that suffers from chronic illness and doesn’t work right. I am in a battle with kids who think they know everything and I know nothing, and yet I still have to try to teach these kids to be kind, caring, and responsible. I am in a battle to have a good marriage with a man who is pretty much my complete opposite. And I am in a battle with myself to become better, do more, etc.
The thing is everything that I am fighting for is good, and so I feel the need to throw myself into the battle with all that I am. And then once in a while I break down because I am so tired of fighting and not always seeing any hope that the battle is going well.
Even after fighting for these good things for so long my body still hates me and I feel awful. My kids are still fighting with each other and calling each other names. And to top it all off, I lose it and yell at everyone.
These are the days that I feel weary on the battlefield.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever felt like you try and try and yet it is never enough? How do we gain the strength to continue to fight when we are worn down?
As I thought about it God reminded me that in the Old Testament Elijah was worn out from a battle with the false prophets of Baal and God encourages him to rest and sends an angel to give him something to eat at two different times telling him, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too long for you.” So first off, I think when we feel weary, we need to eat good food and take a nap!
God also reminded me that Jesus spent his years of ministry with 12 disciples, three of whom he was really close to. If Jesus, who was perfect, needed friends to walk with him on his journey then so do we.
That is why I felt so good after my friend’s visit. When we are feeling weary on the battlefield, I think we need to spend some time with good friends. In our time together my friend shared that to encourage means to infuse courage. That is exactly what she did for me that day. Sometimes I think it helps to be able to just speak the hurt and frustration out loud. And then soak in the encouraging words from a friend so our hearts can be infused with courage in order for us to face the battles of another day.
The third thing God brought up for me was that Jesus slipped away often for times to pray with his Father.
I have a journal that I am constantly writing in verses that have encouraged me, or quotes and sayings that inspire me. On bad days I can read these words over and over like a soothing, healing balm over my heart and soul. I also have playlists of songs that help to encourage me when I am down. So lastly, when we are weary, I think we need to spend extra time in prayer, in God’s word, and then go blast some good tunes!
My final thought is that Paul talks in Ephesians about how we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. (NLT)
I love the Message version of this verse:
“This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels.”
In the heat of the battle it is so easy to forget who I am really fighting with. It is not my family, my health, or my circumstances. It is actually the enemy of my soul who prowls around like a starving lion seeking a way to devour me and the ones I love.
So in conclusion, my fellow warriors, the next time we feel weary and worn down let’s remind ourselves of who we are really in this battle against, eat some really good food, take a long nap, spend time with good friends, read inspiring things, blast some good music, and then pour out our hearts in prayer to the One who SEES us and will never leave us!
Weary On The Battlefield
I had fallen to my knees
so weary from the fight
Tears poured out of my eyes
so hard they blurred out my sight
I sunk to the ground and sobbed
wondering how I could go on
With no end in sight, no victory cry
this battle had been raging for far too long
And as the tears poured down my cheek
I prayed to the One who sees me
He reminded me of what I was fighting for
and that He is always right beside me
He told me how proud he was of me
His beloved daughter and cherished friend
He told me my story was not over yet
and promised it would all be worth it in the end
And as His words sunk deep into my soul
I felt a sense of relief and blessed peace
As the strength returned to my body
And my resolve grew deep within me
The Devil saw me laying upon the ground
And he thought he had finally won but then
I rose to my feet, wiped the tears from my eyes
Lifted up my head and said, “AMEN!”