Bone-weary. Strength-sapped. Done. We women spend oh-so-very-much of our lives just plain TIRED. Doctor (get that: a medical doctor) Saundra Dalton-Smith speaks into our need.
Jesus, I'm Tired
By Saundra Dalton-Smith, M.D.
There are days when everything feels like it is too much. Parenting, marriage, laundry, work, church, cooking consume my life. All requiring more of my energy than I have available. Every activity reminds me of the deep soul level fatigue overtaking me. One day the struggle took me lower than I knew possible causing me to cry out in prayer from the hidden places of my weary heart. A prayer that began, "Jesus, I'm tired."
I'm tired of pushing and pushing to live a life I no longer enjoy. I'm tired of running daily only to end up back where I started. I'm tired of the shame that comes when I don't feel I am enough. I'm tired of the doubt that follows to remind me I don't deserve God's blessings. So in my fears, I don't ask, seek, or knock. Instead, I allow the weariness to cover me like a favorite blanket. It's presence familiar, a constant companion.
Where is the rest of God in all of that? Where is the peace that passes all understanding?
It is where I left it, untouched and unaccepted. It is found in his presence, the sacred place of trusting God enough to rest. It's found in the hard and the broken places where I get poured out, and God's love pours in. It's offered in my weakness. When my strength is gone, he beckons me to come near to sit at his feet and find rest.
Can I be honest?
I'm afraid of rest. If I lay it all down, who will pick it up? If I choose to honor the Sabbath, how will all the work get done? What will happen if I choose Jesus over my to-do list?
In the midst of the fear, frustration, and fatigue, he speaks.
"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10 HCSB)
He quiets my fears and speaks life to my weary soul. He sees me as I am, yet still, I am accepted and ushered into his embrace. This is the rest I desperately need. The rest of letting every area of my life recline in God.
When I purposely seek God's presence, the other voices decreases as his voice becomes more evident. In resting, he searches my heart and examines my mind. Healing occurs in this place of purposeful ceasing. He mends my brokenness, soothes my pain, and renews my hope. In the secret place, the rest of God brings restoration to every area in my life.
"The sacredness of rest remains even when we refuse to acknowledge it. The need to break away, for the body to have periods of peace, is rooted in our anatomy. We must have opportunities to heal. The mind must have a reprieve from thinking. The body needs rest from movement. Emotions need a release. The senses desire to be quieted. We need the social grace to find rest in another. Our soul yearns to soak in the created beauty around it, and our spirit calls for a relationship with the holy." (Excerpt from Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity)
Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith is an author, speaker, and board-certified internal medicine physician. She has an active medical practice in Alabama (near the Birmingham area). Dr. Dalton-Smith is a national and international media resource on the mind, body, spirit connection and a top 100 medical expert in Good Housekeeping Doctors' Secrets. She has been featured in many media outlets including Women's Day, Redbook, First For Women, MSNBC, and Prevention. She is the author of Set Free to Live Free and Come Empty. Her newest release is Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity. She has shared her tips on merging faith and medicine with over 16,000 health care professionals to encourage the current and next generation of doctors to treat the whole person.