The other night at 3am I heard whimpers and whines along with a gentle rattling of our new puppy’s crate. Maverick was excited to see me, but more excited to encounter the big back yard. As I stood in the yard waiting for him to finish marking his territory, my mind instinctively wandered back in time to another season in my life.
That season included many 3am nights but on this night in particular I was pacing the floor with one of my newborn twins. And in this season of joy, I was feeling empty in every way. As I held my sweet son close and sang a hushed lullaby, tears were streaming down my face. Anxiety welled up as I wondered if I would ever feel like I had something to give again. How could I continue caring for these three small children when I was so depleted? And how would I ever get up for work in a few short hours?
Oh yes, my 3am night with the puppy was taking me right back to the exhaustion I experienced when I became a mother. According to Google, exhaustion is described as being “drained of one’s physical or mental resources; very tired.” To exhaust is to use up resources or reserves completely.
Have you ever been completely drained of your physical and mental resources?
When it seems nearly impossible to function let alone meet the demands of our daily life, what hope do we have in our exhausted state?
You Are Never Alone
I don’t know about you, but when I get to the point of exhaustion everything seems magnified! In my sleepy state I make a big deal out of minor things and I often feel like I am the only one going through this situation. But that’s simply not true. So many people have been through similar circumstances, and many of them would be willing to walk through it with us. It is helpful to talk with a friend or other parents so we can connect with someone else in the same boat.
Psalm 42:8 “By day the Lord commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.”
God is with you day or night. Whether you are in the midst of raising small children, caring for a loved one, or burdened with demanding job, you are never alone. When you turn to God, he will never leave you. In the middle of the night while pacing with my baby, I remembered that God was awake too. So I told him everything I was worried about. When my son finally fell back to sleep I returned to my bed feeling a peace inside.
Ask for Help
Our lives can be turned upside down through a variety of circumstances, yet we somehow believe we have to continue living at an accelerated pace! We want to do all the things and do them well, am I right? But when we are going through a season that leaves us depleted, that may not be possible. Don’t expect too much of yourself during this time. You are likely being called for a specific purpose. We can relegate ourselves to the tasks that absolutely have to be completed so that we can be present when most needed.
It is ok to ask other people for help.
My husband returned to work a week after our twins were born. I then had a 4 year old and 2 week old babies to care for. My mom, mother-in-law and sister-in-law would stop by to see the boys and check on me. I wasn’t in the best shape after a C-Section so I asked for help with a few minor things like doctor appointments or having another person there when someone else was planning to stop by. One day I walked in to overhear the three of them planning a schedule so that one of them would be with me and the boys every day for a couple of hours. I realize now I must have looked pretty worn out! I’ll never ever forget the help they provided. I could not have made it those first few weeks without them!
psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Not only does God provide help when you need it most, he will strengthen you so that you can continue.
Refresh and Refuel
We saw earlier that the definition of exhaustion is to be depleted of all resources. It isn’t possible to give something we don’t have so we must refresh and refuel so that we can keep going.
This might not look the same for all of us. For some, it’s a quick shower and a nap. For others it may mean a long walk giving us time to think. Personal refreshment may come in the form of dinner with a friend or even a quick run to the coffee shop for your favorite caffeinated beverage.
These things will give us much needed temporary relief, but there is only one place we can go for our soul quenching thirst to be satisfied.
In John 4:13-14 Jesus encountered the woman at the well. A conversation over physical water with Jesus led to him offering her eternal life through him. Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
What has you feeling exhausted today? Friend, you are not alone. My heart is with yours. It is ok to reach out for help in whatever way you need. When we look to Jesus as our source of living water, he will never leave us dry.
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