Sleep deprivation is at an all-time high in our nation. So many of us feel tired and drained from the time we crawl out of bed at dawn until we fall back into it late at night. If it’s not a lack of sleep, it’s just being weary or fatigued. Sometimes because of illness, sometimes because of stress, sometimes because of just dealing with an angry and vitriolic nation. I mean, have you EVER seen people so angry? That attitude, which I encounter wherever I am nowdays, wears me down faster than anything. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m physically or emotionally exhausted, the last thing I can do is dredge up the creativity to write. So what are we to do? Well, consider God’s Truths for:
Writers’ Obstacle #2: Weariness and Fatigue
Matthew 11:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
Isaiah 40:29–For this is what the sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel says: Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved; in quietness and confidence is your strength.
Isaiah 46:4–Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Mark 6: 30-32–The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place, where they could be alone.
Luke 1:78-79–Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness…and to guide us to the path of peace.
Do you have other Scriptures to share? Please do so. And as you read His words, meditate on them. Let them sink deep into your heart. Let them remind you that the completion of this task isn’t on you, but on the One who gave it to you. Rest in Him. Let Him restore you. He is waiting and ready to do so.
Karen, thank you. A few days ago I woke up saying to God what I often say, “I can’t get enough of you, Lord.”
He answered, “I am enough. I am all you need. I am what you need. Ask, I will answer. Ask, I will give. Ask, I will fill your cup to overflowing. Never worry. Never panic. Do not be afraid. I am all you need.”
I answered, “Lord, you are amazing.”
He said, “Yes, I am. Amazing is an adjective perfect only for the great I am. I am all you need. I am who you need. I am enough.”
Karen. Thank you for confirming that fact. God is the great orchestrator. The great I Am.
Thank you for so timely a post. In response to Andrew, I read this morning how Jesus rested amid the storm. It challenged me to be more like Jesus instead of the disciples who were distracted by their surroundings. The Scriptures were wonderful and provided additional challenge to my quiet time. Thanks again.
Through fifteen years of homeschooling, I took encouragement from the example of how God empowered the builders of the temple:
“David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the LORD is finished.”
1 Chronicles 28:20 NIV
I kept that verse on the front of my planning binder. Now it hangs in my writing nook, reminding me to just do the work. Trust- rest- in the fact that God provides skill, creativity, and works His purpose. He strengthens me to do the work, and gives the respite I need, never failing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul… —Psalm 23:2-3 (NIV)
Oldie, but a goodie, “Cease striving and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations.”
Thank you for your restful words today. I needed them.
Great post, Karen, and perfect Scriptures.
There are a couple of things I do to help avoid that kind of enervating fatigue. The first is to envisage Jesus asleep in the boat while His friends are flipping out. That vignette says two things: first, that we’re often more concerned than we have to be, and Jesus was demonstrating this. Second…God sleeping? I mean, think about it…why would He need to sleep (though the Apostles were probably a pretty draining bunch).
He slept because WE need to follow His example, and catch Z’s when we can. It’s good for us.
The second thing I do is avoid anger-producing media. The news is designed to elicit an emotional response to ensure engagement, and anger’s the easiest one to engender through sound bites and images. Prime-time commercial TV is a wasteland of violence and ‘righteous anger’, heroes overcoming ever-more-dreadful criminals…again, engagement by the production of cortisol. No thanks.
Good thoughts, Andrew. It never occurred to me to look at the story of Jesus sleeping on the boat that way.
So right . So necessary.
Karen, you have no idea how timely this is for me! I recently removed myself from a very abusive situation, moved to another state, and now am laid up in bed with a combination of an infection and Lyme Disease/babesia. Everything is tired: my body, my emotions, my spirit, my brain. I’ve wanted so bad to be diligent in my writing and I’m finding instead that it’s a constant fight. BUT… Rest. You didn’t make your post 101 ways to write when you’re exhausted. You made it all about finding the quiet place in Christ. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing! When you’re exhausted, you feel weak and you try to make up for it by feigning self-confidence and being “louder” in your efforts. But “in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” Our God offers rest like we can’t imagine, of we will only stop trying to “do it all” and let Him truly be God in our lives. So I can say that, despite my fatigue, it is truly well with my soul! Thank you for reinforcing and reminding me of the value of His rest!
The verse Rebekah shared, a staple verse for me:
“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.”
So often, the Chicken Little in me scratches at the soil vainly attempting God’s work on my own. These Scriptures supply potent reminders that it’s His breath, His equipping that elevates us to new heights.
Many thanks for another uplifiting and revitalizing post!
This is the first one that came to my mind, Rebekah!
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Those are great verses! I like the two that come before them as well: “Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.” (Isaiah 40:28-29)
Like Rebekah, I love Is. 40:30-31. I’ve found my energy usually rises to the task when I focus on why I’m doing it.
I may get too sleepy to write. (I have dozed off more than once on the sofa with my laptop as the main light in the room.) I can’t say that I’ve ever become too tired to be creative. Sometimes it’s that short snooze that powers me back up with something fresh that came during what my husband calls my “deep meditation,” and then I can’t shut the computer off until I capture it. But I don’t have to get up to go to work at a set time now, and I’m sure that helps. When I was working, I didn’t usually write past 1 a.m. (God has blessed me with an energizer bunny metabolism.)
Another verse in Isaiah along the same vein as 40:30-31 is 41:10:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
My favorite Scripture when I am in a toss and turn mode, and after I’ve taken the cares of life to bed with me is: Psalm 127:2. “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.” The word “sorrows” is “anxieties” in some translations. This verse is so appropriate for this oft neglected, but practical topic. Thanks for the article.
I was just reading about rest this morning. When my brother died suddenly 3 years ago, a friend sent me an e-card whose message I printed and have kept in my Bible ever since. “God has a place of rest for us even in the midst of our busy and challenging days. It isn’t an escape from the stress – it’s an oasis of calm despite the demands. His very presence is our ultimate peace. He brings quiet streams of refreshing grace to restore us in our times of need.”
It was followed by Deut. 33:12 – “Let the beloved of the Lord rest securely in Him for He shields all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.”
That led me this morning to revisit a favorite encouragement found in Hebrews 3 & 4 which says the Hebrews did not enter into God’s rest (of the Promised Land) because of their unbelief (Hebrews 3:19). Then, Hebrews 4:11 advises us, “Therefore, let us be diligent to enter that rest.”
When I get weary and over-stressed, I know I need to invest in the “work” of believing and trusting God for who He is and how much He perfectly loves me. I love how the verse says to be diligent – diligent about believing God and who He says He is. Then we find our rest because our rest is Him.
Janet Ann Collins
I Thes. 5:18 In everything give thanks for this is the will of the Lord… I believe there are many more good people than bad ones in the world, but the bad ones get more publicity. I try to thank people I encounter every day who are doing their jobs, and many are amazed and delighted that I’ve done so. Focusing on the good helps keep my mind off the negative stuff.
I really needed this today. Thanks, Karen.
Rebecca LuElla Miller
This is excellent, Karen. So great to read the verses that you and others point out that speak to our weariness. It’s refreshing all by itself. Here’s one more:
“For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:3. “Considering Christ” might be the best way to defeat our weariness. And I guess that’s what meditating on these verses actually causes us to do.
Thank you so much, Karen.
I love the verses. I have several “go to” verses that are refreshing to my soul. Sometimes I find myself caught off guard by a negative circumstance. My emotions take a hit and soon there is a spiral down. Emotional depletion zaps the energy. I find that a word or phrase can lift the spirits. I say them slowly i.e. “J-e-s-u-s,” “maranatha,” “Leaning on the everlasting arms,” “Turn your eyes upon Jesus,” “Jesus loves me,” and so forth. Thus, a short reprieve from the craziness is like streams in the desert, an oasis in a thirsty land. Thank you for your kind words in this post.
Sheri Dean Parmelee
Karen, I like “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” and “He who began a good work in your will be faithful to complete it.”
Damon J. Gray
Wonderful post! And wonderful responses! I have nothing to add to this but my gratitude. Thank you Karen and all who share such beautiful responses.
I love this. The Scripture I often go to is the one you listed first.
Matthew 11:28-30 – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
I always think about Jesus saying He is “humble and gentle at heart” and that helps when I feel overwhelmed. It literally helps me to breathe easier. He’s not harsh, forcing me to work until I drop. Actually, He’s stopped me from writing when I wasn’t supposed to be doing it. Right in the middle of a post, boom. The flow is gone. The thought is gone. All of it, just gone. I think He’s teaching me (another part of that Scripture) the difference between writing for others and writing as a way of spending time with Him; those private, lovely moments just between us.
And what a blessing it is to spend those quiet moments resting in Him.
Thanks, Karen. And thank You, Father, for the promises in Your Word.
A timely and perfect word…thank you.
Psalms has many passages that uplift and inspire.~ With our eyes on God we cannot long be weary.
“If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.” ~ Psalms 139:9-10
“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” ~ Psalms 139:17-18