DayBreaks for 08/03/12 – The Duffel Bag of Weariness

DayBreaks for 08/03/12 – The Duffel Bag of Weariness

He makes me lie down in green pastures…”  (Ps. 23:2)

Americans have a problem.  (Well, lots of them, if the truth be told.)  The one I’m thinking of is weariness.  Boy – I am acquainted with this one!  Consider these facts:

  1. It affects 70 million Americans and is faulted for 38,000 deaths each year.
  2. It costs the US economy $70 billion in lost productivity each year.
  3. Teens suffer from it.  64% blame their poor school performance on it.
  4. Mid-lifers face it constantly, and researchers say that the most severe cases happen between 30 and 40 years of age (humm…I think that should be extended!!!).
  5. Senior citizens find that over half of them 65 years old or older have this problem.
  6. Americans consume 30 TONS of aspirin, sleeping pills and tranquilizers every DAY trying to cope with this problem.

So what is the problem?  Insomnia.  The lack of ability to get to sleep or to stay asleep.

I can usually get to sleep just fine.  Staying asleep is another story.  I wake up and can’t go back to sleep.  My mind may be focused on work or just on the digital read-out on the face of the clock reminding me that the time designated for sleep is flying by and I’m losing out on it.  And that makes me upset, which helps keep me awake.  The result: I’m weary, tired and constantly craving rest.

As Max Lucado wrote: “People with too much work and too little sleep step over to the baggage claim of life and grab the duffel bag of weariness.  You don’t carry this one.  You don’t hoist it onto your shoulder and stride down the street.  You drag it as you would a stubborn St. Bernard.  Weariness wearies.

Most animals know how to rest.  There is one exception.  These creatures are wooly, simple-minded and slow.  No, not husbands on Saturday – sheep!  Sheep can’t sleep…for sheep to sleep, everything must be just right…sheep cannot find safe pasture, nor can they spray insecticide, deal with the frictions or find food.  They need help.  They need a shepherd to lead them and help them lie down in green pastures.  Without a shepherd, they can’t rest…neither can we.

What is the secret to finding rest as one of the “sheep of his pasture”?  (Ps. 95:7)  “Note the two pronouns preceding the two verbs.  HE makes me…HE leads me.  Who is the active one?  Who is in charge?  The shepherd.  The sheep’s job is to watch the shepherd.  With our eyes on our Shepherd, we’ll be able to get some sleep.  ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.’  (Is. 26:3)

Life can get so loud we forget to shut it down…Of the ten declarations carved in the tables, which one occupies the most space?  Murder?  Adultery?  Stealing?  You’d think so.  Certainly such are worthy of ample coverage. But curiously, these commands are tributes to brevity.  God needed only 5 English words to condemn adultery and four to denounce thievery and murder.  But when he came to the topic of rest, one sentence would not suffice: “8 Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” (Ex. 20:8-11)

Do you think God cares about our rest?  I do.  Was He serious about us getting enough of it?  It was one of the commands to have a day of rest.  “God’s message is plain: ‘If creation didn’t crash when I rested, it won’t crash when you do.’

Get some rest.  God approves of it!.

PRAYER: God, we give our frantic weariness to You.  Teach us to lay down our duffel bag of weariness and activity and rest!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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