Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live lightly and freely. Matthew 11:28-30 MSG
Jessica arrives at church when the Pastor taps her on the shoulder and says, “Hey, Amy didn’t show up for nursery today. Can you do it?” “Of course,” she quips but inside she feels a little resentful. “They’ve asked me again. Why can’t they ask someone else?” she thinks.
She runs through her mental checklist of chores she needs to do this afternoon before her small group meets tonight. She has impeccable standards for her home. Everything is organized and in place. She cannot rest until everything is perfect. Deep down, she’d love to take a nap, but there’s not time for rest today.
She’s capable, driven, and likes to control outcomes. She believes the heart of loving God is to serve. She’s more comfortable doing things for God than being with God. Shame makes her hide behind her service for God. She’s afraid God will be disappointed in her if she shows up as herself. She feels she’s not enough.
Secretly, she is resentful of the other women who don’t do as much. She’s weary and burned out, tired of striving to earn God’s love. There must be more to this relationship with God, she thinks. She needs to reframe what it means to love God.
A Look At Weariness
Everywhere I go I meet Christian women who are utterly exhausted. No wonder their connection with God is minimal. They’re completely spent and have nothing left to give to Him. They work, serve and try hard to earn God’s love and favor but never learn to relax in God’s presence. They carry shame and believe their service to God replaces their connection with God.
They’re good at doing things for God, but struggle being with God.
It’s time to learn how to lay down our striving, work, and service. When did it become posh to bow to the idol of busyness? How did we come to believe God would be disappointed in us if we rest? Rest is God’s plan for us! God likes when we rest! How did we get here?
Dear Papa, I’m tired. I didn’t imagine my relationship with You would feel like so much work. I want to please You but I wear myself out trying to earn Your love. I don’t want to be like this anymore. I want to learn to live lightly and freely with You. Show me how. Amen.
Pamela Henkelman is an enthusiastic encourager with a passion to speak, write, and coach. She believes all of life flows from our intimacy with God. She helps weary Christian women build a deep bond with God and understand His love. Pamela lives in the midwest and is married to her Pastor. They have five adult children and two grandsons and celebrated 33 years of marriage in October.
Pamela’s favorite way to connect with her readers is through her monthly Be[Loved] Notes newsletter and her weekly blogs. If you’d like to receive some love in your inbox, hop on over to her website, pamelahenkelman.com and sign up for the good stuff. She also has a Library of Free Resources for her email friends, including her 5-Day devotional: Five Encouragements to Increase Your Intimacy With God. You can also join her private FB group for women called Be[Loved] Community with Pamela Henkelman. She pops on there live each week with teaching.