“So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.” – Galatians 6:9
Tired. If “busy” was the word of the last decade, “tired” may be the most apt this first year into the new decade. We all have our tireds these days. You don’t have to be an essential worker, risking your life day in and day out doing thankless and exhausting work, so that others may live. You don’t have to be a teacher, or front-line worker, or school-from-home-mom, finding yourself suddenly under multiple new loads that threaten to strain your limits to breaking. You don’t need to be an isolated retiree who would give anything to change stations with anyone right now to earn the moniker — we are all tired. Our pastor rightly said on Sunday that for so many of us, most of our days are spent serving others right now, or making sacrificial choices that would best serve others.
There is a weariness that can set in during even the best of times, and how much more so after a year of profound grief, seeing the loss of so much, even as we dare to believe that hope is truly rounding the bend. Still, in this verse we find our weary heads lifted as we are gently admonished – “do not grow weary in doing good.” Is Paul tone deaf to write this? Hardly. Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians after at least seventeen years of contending for the Word without having even the benefit of the community of the saints (Gal 1:13-20, Gal 2:1-2). He knew isolation, and he knew weariness. And yet he joyfully writes to us, “don’t grow weary in doing good.” So where do we find this strength, this well to revive our parched and tired souls, that we may daily face our divinely ordained portions with hope, even joy?
We heard Ephesians 5:2 on Sunday, and that chapter begins with this: “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children…” It is after this grounding in being God’s dearly loved children– and only after this– that we will be able to “walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:2). When we behold Him, in whatever way He speaks dearest to our uniquely crafted souls– tracing His beauty in creation, or His Word, or the innocent delight of our children, the hearty laugh or crinkly eyed smiles of our dearly loved friends, the taste of good tea or coffee or a cheesesteak, all hearkening back to “God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment” (1 Tim 6:17)– it is then, after we orient our faces to our Father, that we are able to walk in the way of love as Christ loves us. Because we are His children, we can love like the Father.
Earlier, I bundled up to step outside and meet the cold sun in all her fierce, bracing glory. I lifted my face to heaven, eyes closed, breathing deep. It is one moment carved out of this day’s portion and demands, but it is enough. I remembered God’s countenance toward me and toward you in Christ, His kindness, His waves of mercy that have crashed over my life time and time again, and I find myself given grace for this moment, for this day, “for such a time as this.” It is enough. Eaves drip and the snow melts down the gutters, a wren is trilling somewhere nearby. Thirty seconds stretches into eternity, and the moment becomes a silent prayer, thanking God for moments of warmth and beauty, pleading without a word for His strength to continue sustaining me, knowing He knows all that is said and all that is unsaid. Thank You, please help, I’m sorry, more, thank You always for more. And it is enough. Maybe this is you too, trying to do what is right and good, stealing moments from days we can’t hold, tired but hanging on to every Word He says. Take heart, weary brothers and sisters. For “at just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”
A version of this is posted at kingsway.church/blog on this date.