Week 4 • Day 1 • Renewal Devotional

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SPIRIT: The Weary Anecdote
“He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Titus 3:5 (NIV)

I could sense I was about to lose it. I had two, very small little girls, who casually felt it was just
one of those days to cry a lot. I had deadlines to meet, and it was clear that wasn’t gonna
happen. My house looked like an excavator came in, tore off our roof and then dumped it with
random (mostly tiny) objects. The final straw was when I had a suspicious goop on my hand and
couldn’t wash it off in the sink because dirty dishes piled right up to the faucet.

I needed someone to blame, someone to hold accountable for the injustice of it all. Luckily, my
husband called. Perfect! We got into a big fight.

As a work from home mother of small babies, grappling with the stress of finances we couldn’t
manage, I was so smothered by my circumstances, day after day, I couldn’t see any light, all I
saw was a dark room filled with problems. I felt out of control and hopeless. My spirit was

Weariness is common. It happens under a great loss – the loss of a loved one, a job, our health,
our insurance. It happens under great stress – getting hammered at work, getting hammered at
home, too much responsibility, too little sleep. It happens under sin, if we engage destructive
habits or addictions, treat those around us badly, become selfish and arrogant or continuously
do the wrong thing when we know what is right. And we can also grow weary under more
subtle conditions, like boredom. No sense of purpose, growth or accomplishment is surprisingly
heavy, smothering us as if we’re in a hole and someone dumps a bucket of dirt on us every day.

Weariness can’t go unchecked for long, not just because it zaps us of all our energy, but it
rapidly exacerbates our problems. We fight with the people we love most. We sabotage
working relationships or progress on our goals. We don’t think clearly, or creatively, causing us
to wallow in our problems even longer.

It’s creates more self-induced suffering, plain and simple.

But if we have God in our life, we don’t have to suffer day after day. Yes, our circumstances may
be extraordinarily difficult for a time, and we may be asked to endure it a little while longer. But
when our spirit is at peace, we suddenly experience supernatural energy. Supernatural
compassion. Supernatural patience. Supernatural strength to endure until the work, the
challenge, the mountain– is climbed.

I love when King David in Psalm 23:2 says, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads
me beside quiet waters.”

As I hung up on my husband after a nasty little argument of my own doing, I knew I needed to
get alone with God and seek his green pastures and quiet waters. It wasn’t complicated – I knew
I needed to repent for my own thoughts and actions that led me towards meltdown, and the
poor way I was treating those I love. In Acts 3:19, it tells us that by doing so, refreshment will
come. Then, I just simply asked God to help. There’s no formula, it’s just taking responsibility
for how long it took me to let God work, and then surrender.

I needed help to shift from “Woe is me,” to “Whoa, I’m lucky!” Blessed is probably a better
word. To turn an overwhelming situation into something good – great even. I asked him to lay
with me in a green pasture. To lead me beside quiet waters.

And lo and behold, as my spirit rested, I started to get some good ideas. I felt a gentleness
towards my girls. I apologized to my husband. I realized the things stressing me out the most (a
missed deadline) wouldn’t be the end of the world. I rearranged my schedule, and
unsurprisingly, it all worked out.

I had more energy, more motivation. My iced coffee helped, but it was my spirit that did the
heavy lifting. As if I was being led to tend to the flock, the responsibilities God gave me, with
gratitude and gladness. I was overwhelmed with love and thankfulness towards my children, a
loving husband, my lovely home, and that I was lucky enough to have a fulfilling way to earn
income. Like by an invisible rope, I was pulled along by a higher purpose, gratitude, a desire to
please and “show off” to God. Just like when my girls proudly make their beds, all crumpled and
bumpy with sheets exposed, and excitedly lead me to their room to show me, I almost get
giddy showing God how I’m making delicious lemonade out of all those lemons. My girl’s beds
ain’t perfect, and neither am I, but I know He delights in the trying all the same.

What was making my spirit weary at the end of my rope, evolved into a woman completely
refreshed and ready to overcome the challenges before her. Someone anxious to enjoy her life
and arrange her day to make it fun.

I know I make it sound easy, but that’s because most of the time – it is. I won’t overcomplicate
it to be more interesting. As my relationship with God continues to grow, I sometimes chuckle
at God’s ease. If I focus on what matters most—my relationship with Him and the care and love
I give to my family and community—things tend to fall into place. My work was better, more
proficient and inspired, I felt good and satisfied because I was committed to my core
responsibilities. In other words, the more I shifted into God’s will for my life, the more the Holy
Spirit led me to do God’s will. And the more fulfilled and satisfied I became.

And if I began to feel the tickle of spiritual weariness because something unexpected slowed my
progress, I knew the anecdote was right there within me. All I had to do was call out to Him,
open my Bible– be still and know that he is God.

Then, without fanfare, or lightning bolts or thunderous clouds, I feel my spirit pulled gently to
an open, green, lush pasture. I feel the invitation to lie next to a gentle babbling brook. I had
gotten a bit lost, but now I’m found again.

And just like that, my spirit has been renewed.