It's okay to feel tired.
"Jesus knew the Pharisees had heard that he was baptizing and making more disciples than John (though Jesus himself didn’t baptize them—his disciples did). So he left Judea and returned to Galilee. He had to go through Samaria on the way. Eventually he came to the Samaritan village of Sychar, near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there; and Jesus, tired from the long walk, sat wearily beside the well about noontime." John 4:1-6 (NLT)
This theme verse starts off the Bible stories that plenty of Christians are familiar with: the story of Jesus with the Samaritan Woman. What is interesting is how Pastor Eli Nelson shifted the focus to the part of story of what lead Jesus to Samaria in the first place - and the fact that he was tired when he arrived.
The tiredness that Pastor Eli is referring to is not just the physical tiredness, but the spiritual tiredness that can come from avoiding deep-seeded church hurts, trauma, and stressors that, in turn, leads us to putting up masks in our day-to-day lives, making us spiritually drained and exhausted.
Languishing vs. Flourishing
Pastor Eli Nelson compared the visual of playing golf to our pursuit of Jesus and this spiritual tiredness. He explained that when you start out playing golf, you play out of love for the game. But then you start to lose that initial love for the game because you are critiquing and changing your swing and hearing so many outside opinions on the approach you should take. The same thing can happen to us as Christians. If we listen to all the different approaches and opinions like: "You’re a real Christian if you get up at 4am to pray, read the Bible “x” amount of times, serve on “x” amount of teams," etc., we will get tired and miss out on pursuing Jesus for who He is and what He has done for humanity. To close this visual, Pastor Eli had a vase where he placed the golf balls, each representing different opinions, unresolved feelings, and approaches people take that lead to tiredness. Then he started to fill the vase with water, representing the “living water” Jesus provides to us every day, the water He provided to the Samaritan woman at the well. As he filled the vase, the golf balls rose to the surface and came right out of the vase, showing that God heals, provides, and He is with us on the mountaintops and in the valleys. God has a flourishing life for you. But sometimes we let the opinions of others keep us from truly connecting with God. We need to get to a well.
Tired does not mean weak.
"For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin." Hebrews 4:15 (NIV)
Being weary doesn't mean you're weak. Jesus was tired, and He is the bread of life. Perfection got tired. Because Jesus knows what it feels like to be tired, He understands when we feel tired. You can be right in the middle of the will of God and feel tired. Faith does not mean that you won't feel fatigue. Feelings are good. They are nothing more than indicators of your soul. Don't suppress them - identify what they are so you can receive healing from the root issue of that emotion. The Holy Spirit wants to help you process those emotions.
"Feelings are indicators to the health of your soul." - Pastor Eli Nelson
You can rest in the Lord.
He will restore you. You have to bring your problems to the Lord - you've got to go to the well. The well of living water. Only Jesus can satisfy you and give you rest for your soul. You can have burdens, but you don't have to carry them. Give them to God.
"'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.'” Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)
I highly encourage listening to the full message because it provides so much more insight to this topic. Just by the title of the message, I knew the message would hit home and address my own feelings I go through in my, as well as many others’, walk with Jesus. Plenty of people have put up masks, felt belittled or invalidated, and shoved down feelings that are meant to be worked through. I believe you will truly identify with the message, as it will provide grace, understanding and encouragement to you going forward.
Go to the well.
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