At last weekend’s Take Heart conference, God showed up in amazing ways. It was an incredible privilege to be a part of what God did. We shared a much-needed laugh with speaker Liz Curtis Higgs, and we shared our burdens through prayer. Then we received encouragement and practical tools for growth from a talented group of breakout speakers.
My favorite part was the ministries expo, where I learned, among other things, about local organizations that
• help women through grief,
• counsel women with eating disorders,
• connect women to resources for special needs children or aging loved ones,
• rescue women from sex trafficking.
It was exciting to learn ways that the Body of Christ is shining Light in a dark world.
It was a wonderful weekend. But the next few days….I was tired. Utterly couldn’t-keep-my-eyes-open exhausted. Which made me crazy. There were things to do—like the laundry that piled up on the busy pre-conference days. Like getting groceries so I could remind my husband what a home cooked meal looks like.
I felt like I needed to keep going, but I just couldn’t move!
As I tried to marshal energy that just isn’t there, I remembered a familiar story from Luke 8 (and also Matthew 8 and Mark 4)—the account of Jesus calming the storm.
You may remember how Jesus spoke a few words and calmed a raging storm for his freaked-out disciples. But what spoke to my heart in my weariness were the words just before the storm-calming part:
As they sailed, [Jesus] fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.
The disciples went and woke him… (Luke 8:23-24a)
In other words, Jesus was so tired that he fell asleep and slept right through a huge storm. Tossed and drenched, he stayed asleep until his disciples shook him firmly.
After faithfully serving His Father by teaching and healing, Jesus—the Son of God— couldn’t keep His eyes open.
Sounds a little bit like my post-conference exhaustion. Not that anything I do can be compared to Jesus’s earthly ministry. But it made me wonder.
If Jesus needed a nap, perhaps it’s ok for me—for us—to rest too.
Colossians 3:23 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord.” But perhaps, when we’re done working, we need to follow Jesus’ example and rest.
Perhaps we need to give ourselves into the care of our great Shepherd, the one David wrote about, saying “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2-3a)
So if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go take a nap!
Director, Take Heart