Webster defines the word worn/wear as “to exhaust or lessen the strength of; weary or fatigued” and that just about sums up how I think many of us are feeling at the moment. I’m worn… physically, mentally and spiritually. I know you can see it in my countenance, body language and conversations but I think you can also see it in the very fabric of society. I know it’s not just me because the weariness of this world is almost palpable. If ever you have doubted that we live in a fallen and cursed world, those doubts have probably disappeared in the last few months.
I feel like Satan is coming at me from every angle right now and he is no less a crafty creature today than he was in Genesis. He’s attacking my passion (teaching) which has left me feeling overwhelmed, discouraged and despised. He’s attacking my dreams for the future which has left me feeling disappointed, hopeless and angry. I see him going against family, friends and the students I love. I’ve seen people I care about pass away, face heartbreaking tragedies and receive grim diagnoses. I can’t sleep, have crazy nightmares, a constant headache and literally ache to my bones with the weight of the unknown and uncontrollable.
And it’s in these moments that we have a choice to either lean into the Father’s arms or run away in anger. I’d like to say I always run TO the Father but that’s not the case, however, the older I get and the more my faith grows the more I want to run to my Daddy for comfort and wisdom when I just don’t understand. I find that spending time with the Lord helps ground me and puts things into perspective… an eternal perspective. I love what Psalm 42:11 says, “Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” See, just like when Peter tried to walk on the water, I start to sink when I take my eyes off God and start focusing on the storm. Satan knows that and he will do everything in his power to distract me and you with what surrounds us.
So, during my stormy seasons I try to remember to keep my eyes on the One that can speak to the wind and rain in my life. I know I need things that will constantly redirect my focus when Satan “tempts me to despair…” Personally, this requires daily time in the Word, a consistent, intentional prayer life and flooding my heart with worship music. My pastor suggests having a playlist for “The Dip” in life that can be used to encourage and remind you of God’s power, provision and promises. In this current “dip”, the old Tenth Avenue North song “Worn” has been on repeat in my heart. If you have never listen to this song, man are you missing out! The opening verse mirrors the current cry of my heart so well saying,
“I'm tired I'm worn My heart is heavy From the work it takes To keep on breathing I've made mistakes I've let my hope fail My soul feels crushed By the weight of this world
And I know that you can give me rest So I cry out with all that I have left”
Does that sound familiar to you? Feeling a heavy heart… a crushed soul… that the weight of the world being overwhelming? The lyrics go on to talk about feeling weak with “thin” prayers. Feeling too tired to fight even before the day starts. Have you been there? Has your soul ever ached with your petition before the Lord? When you know that your only hope for rest is in Him and you literally cry out from the ache of your soul! When you can’t find the right words or enough words to fully express your hurt and confusion? Those are some of the hardest moments of prayer but also the times when the Lord has spoken so clearly to me and praise the Lord that he doesn’t require perfect words or eloquent expressions to hear our pleads. Romans 8:26 tells us that, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” What a comfort in times of chaos, that it isn’t up to me to understand what I need to bring it to the Lord.
You may be wondering why I would include this song on a playlist meant to encourage during tough times when the words seem a bit downcast but let me tell you the rest of the story because the chorus is my favorite part…
“Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn”
To me, there is so much hope wrapped up in the desires of these words.
“Let me see redemption win.”
John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you will have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
“Let me know the struggle ends.”
John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
“That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn.”
Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
“I wanna know a song can rise from the ashes of a broken life…”
Colossians 1:13-14, “ For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
“And all that’s dead inside can be reborn"
John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
“Cause I’m worn.”
Matthew 11:28, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
In the end, we live in a broken world that will leave us worn out many times throughout our lives. It’s inevitable but that doesn’t have to be the end of our story. We don’t have to suffer through hopelessness until our last breath because the Father offers “peace that passes understanding” as the old children’s song states and He can give us the ultimate victory, even if we don’t see it this side of heaven. I pray that during these times of uncertainty and anxiety we draw close to the only one who can provide what our souls are so desperately searching for and who loves us beyond comprehension.
Father, I’m tired and I hurt in my soul but I know that you are in control. Help me let go of the need to rationalize and control the brokenness of this world. Help me find my peace and contentment in Your truths and let my life ultimately shine for Your glory. Thank you that this is not the end of the story, that Your hope can envelop my heart and that Your love is so much bigger than anything I face. Amen!