Paradox – a statement or conclusion that seems senseless, logically unacceptable, or self-contradictory
The moment you decide to follow Jesus, there is a shift in your life. The way you live and the way you love all become part of this unexplainable grace that Jesus allows you to walk in. Now, your life literally may not change immediately. Believe me, most people experience more difficulty after following Jesus. (See Matthew 8) But one thing that changes in the lives of Jesus followers is their perspective.
Have you ever felt tired before? Not just the “I-wanna-throw-my-phone-at-the-wall-when-my-alarm-goes-off” kind of tired. But the legitimate exhaustion. When your body aches, your mind is overwhelmed, your heart is broken, you’ve lost trust, hope, and joy. When your heart just doesn’t feel right. Perhaps ministry has become so much more than you signed up for, and you aren’t seeing the results you expected.
Surprisingly most of the issues we face in ministry and life as a whole, are directly connected to the state of our hearts. As Jesus said “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be” (Matthew 6:21). Meaning often times we are allowing our hearts to rest in places that offer us no assurance and in many ways, no stability.
I had an interesting conversation with God a few weeks ago about the condition of my heart. I distinctly remember the words “I’m exhausted” coming from my mouth. And with no delay, the Holy Spirit responded with “Well get excited.”
Now, this wasn’t like He was just telling me to get over it, but rather there was a deeper meaning. It led me to an interesting implication:
And Gideon came to the Jordan and crossed over, he and the 300 men who were with him, exhausted yet pursuing. (Judges 8:4)
Did you catch that? Exhausted yet pursuing. The Lord showed me this verse and reminded me that once the exhaustion of Gideon kicked in, the power of God to keep pursuing overrode it. When we remain confident in ourselves and not God, we stay exhausted. But when we can admit we are weak, and we are tired, that’s when God’s power comes to our lives.
I hope you’re still with me. This is my main thought:
The end of ourselves, is the beginning of God.
Remember when the disciples were in the boat and the storm was going on and Jesus was just chillin’ sleeping? It wasn’t until they woke Him up, until they realized they couldn’t do it alone that the situation shifted. How many times do we get ourselves into situations, and believe we’re the only one that can get ourselves out of them?
That brings me to the title of of this post. When we’re exhausted we should be excited because God is about to keep us going with His amazing and unexplainable love. It’s very paradoxical to get excited about exhaustion, but for the follower of Christ it makes perfect sense. Jesus reminds us how well we can do without Him in the Gospel of John:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for APART FROM ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING. (John 15:5)
As basic as it may sound, we need to trust God. And not just in terms of knowing the bible or going to church. But really letting Him take control of every thought, every conversation, and every decision.
If you’re exhausted, it’s time to get excited. God will do anything with you when you admit you can do nothing without Him. As Jesus told the apostle Paul:
“My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)