Are you tired these days? I’ve heard that, in America, “busy is the new fine”, meaning that when we used to say that we were “fine”, we now say that we are “busy”. “Busy” can be a badge of honor, showing that we are important contributors, and are working really hard (i.e., not a slacker).
However, after a year of lockdowns, having loved ones getting sick (and sometimes passing away), and conflict of many kinds, I think that maybe “tired is the new busy”. (New parents have known this for centuries, I suppose.) We’re just tired of the noise, tired of the chaos, tired of the fighting, and tired of the pain. I can relate to this, but probably not as much as some of my readers, who have experienced greater challenges that I have (both in the last year, and prior to that).
In that light, though, sharing the following verse might seem initially “tone-deaf” (to use a trendy demeaning pejorative) on my part; however, being God’s word, I suspect that we’ll find otherwise.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9 NIV
First off, note that this verse doesn’t tell us that we can’t be tired. Jesus was tired (see John 4:6), and told His apostles to get some rest (see Mark 6:30-31). So, if you’re tired, that’s OK. We live in a fallen, cursed world, and the genetic decay that these mortal bodies carry isn’t the ideal that God initially created. Sometimes, we’re going to be tired and perhaps even weary (which I define as “really tired”, in a way that impacts more than only our physical muscles and joints: a “whole-self” tiredness that brings down our mind, soul, and spirit, too).
Secondly, note that the church in Galatia (and, by extension, probably each of us) was commanded to not become weary in something specific: doing good. Those who regularly do good works know that – even if their bodies get tired – the rewards for one’s heart are substantial. However, when we take our eyes off of the goal (i.e., why we do good), then doing good becomes a chore or an obligation, rather than an opportunity and a blessing. This is the challenge: to keep doing good, inspired by Jesus Christ, along with our faith that God blesses the work that He tells us to do.
And, this passage provides a promise: the ability to see results for our actions (i.e., our good works). I suspect that this is the same kind of harvest that Jesus talked about in Matthew 9:37-38 (and probably also Luke 10:1-3): the salvation and restoration of souls that are currently lost and separated from God. Good works are something that should be noticeably different about followers of Jesus, as they emulate His behavior and attitude of service. As a result, choosing to do the right thing in Jesus’ name brings people to Him, for their own benefit and for God’s glory. These habits also provide opportunities to tell others about Jesus Christ, when people ask why we continue to live them out (especially when others, not having God’s power behind them, might have given up because they lost energy and inspiration). Good works can be done for other reasons, but I believe that they are never as effective as when they are aligned with God’s plan and His will, empowered by His spirit.
So, if you are tired – or even weary – today, consider the following steps:
- Look back to the example of Jesus, who continued to do good (even though He got tired), with God the Father’s strength.
- Look up to consider the faithfulness of God, and appreciate that He is powerful, faithful, and close to those who seek Him.
- Look forward to the harvest that awaits those who do good in Jesus’ name.
It’s been a tiring time, but may we live like Jesus, directed by the Holy Spirit, and empowered by the strength of God the Father, so that we can continue to do good. It will be worth the effort.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.