|My new grandson Kai makes the perfect model|
I love the new song by Tenth Avenue North called “Worn.” It certainly expresses the way I feel sometimes. I thought of it the other day when I read these verses: “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God” (Deut. 25:17-18).
Isn’t that the way it is? The enemy always picks off the tired, injured, and unaware. He watches for signs of weakness and attacks when we’re most vulnerable.
What is it that wears you out? For me, it's sickness, pain, discouragement, heartache, and doubt that sap my strength. Often I overdo it, expending energy on unnecessary ventures, or trying to do for others what they should do for themselves. When I take side paths or get involved in discussions God does not intend, I lose my way. Sometimes I’m not even aware I’ve gotten behind until I feel a sudden thud against my spirit; a signal I’ve been hit. Then there’s a feeling of panic.
How can we keep from falling behind? The Bible says that God led the Israelites with a cloud by day and fire by night. Day or night they always knew what direction to go if they looked up. That’s the key for us as well. If we don’t want to get left behind, we need to keep looking up for direction. It may sound simplistic, but it works: reading the Bible every day, listening to God, and Christian fellowship are still God’s answers for making it safely to heaven (our Promised Land).
What about when others straggle behind? Do we just leave them and keep moving? Well, I know how I want to be treated if I start lagging behind. It doesn’t help for someone out front to keep barking, “C’mon, lazy bones; you’re going too slowly. Pick up the pace!” Especially if I am unable to go any faster. I want someone to encourage me to rest, pray for me, walk with me a while to make sure I’m not alone. I try to remember this when I notice one of my fellow sojourners in a weakened state and falling behind.
The sad fact is many will fall to the enemy along the way. Some, because they neglect their own self-care or have leaders that fail to be watchful; others, because they willfully separate from the group. They claim they’re strong enough to defend themselves and don’t need to be a part of the whole. I shudder when I see them fall prey to the devourer because of their own pride and stubborn waywardness.
All of us get worn out from time to time. If you are currently lagging behind, please, let someone know how you feel. Reach out for a helping hand. If the first person you talk to doesn’t respond, keep trying until you find a friend. And look to Jesus for the strength to carry on.
He invites us all, “Are you tired? Worn out?…Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly” (Matthew 11:28-30, Message).
Here’s the link to “Worn.” As you listen, be assured you are not alone on this journey: http://tenthavenuenorth.com/