DayBreaks for 4/17/19 – Easter and Fatigue

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DayBreaks for 4/17/19: Easter and Fatigue

From the DayBreaks archive, April 2009:

Crash and burn.  That’s what most of us do each night.  We crash, memories and thoughts burning about the calamities of the day.  But we’re so tired that we can’t maintain the frantic mental pace for long…and we mercifully find sleep’s embrace – but only for a short time.  Before you know it, it’s morning and the cycle starts all over again. 

What is it that haunts us?  We spend our numbered days running from meeting to meeting, airport to airport, hither, thither and yon doing our jobs or errands.  Often it’s at a job that we hate.  But deep down, I think Max Lucado was right, when he suggested that what really haunts us is the question: “Is it worth it?  When I get what I want, will it be worth the price I paid?”  Good question.  Perhaps the answer has more to do with whether what we want is worthy of so much wanting.

In Six Hours One Friday, Max told a story about a San Antonio lawyer: “Successful, well-paid,  new wife, remodeled house.  But apparently it wasn’t enough.  One day, he came home, took a gun out of his vault, climbed into a sleeping bag, and took his life.  His note to his bride read, ‘It’s not that I don’t love you.  It’s just that I’m tired and I want to rest.’”  Tiredness.  Fatigued to the extreme.  If that doesn’t describe most people I know, I don’t know what does.

It’s that mountain of weariness that makes the Words of Christ so compelling and inviting: Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  So, what was there about Jesus that makes us think we can believe he can do anything about our fatigue?  After all, he is a penniless rabbi – he can’t provide an economic stimulus (i.e, “bailout”) to the nation.  He doesn’t have the ear of the President or the NATO leaders.  He holds no diploma and has never written any best-selling self-help books on how to prioritize and get control of your life.  But that doesn’t matter – he looks weary people straight in the face and says, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

The tiredest thing about us isn’t our bodies, as tired as they may be.  It’s our souls that are threadbare and worn.  It was the weariness of the attorney’s soul that led him to pull that trigger – not just bodily tiredness. 

Those who accepted the invitation to “Come unto me” found that when they brought him their weary souls they found something wonderful in return. They found a Lord who loved them.  A Lord who knew all about their everyday challenges and struggles.  A Lord who understood their frustrations with wanting but not finding satisfaction in the getting.  A Lord that they could call Savior, because he did for their souls what no night’s sleep could ever accomplish. 

Yes, we are tired when we go to bed, and often we are reluctant to rise in the morning.  If we take Jesus’ invitation and come to him for rest for our souls, each day and morning is laden with possibilities of a day spent in the presence of the Living God, an adventure of the highest order.  Do you need refreshing?  Do you need rest?  Maybe you’re so tired because you have spent so much energy trying to run and live your own life that you forgot that Jesus wants to live His life through you.  Let him.  You’ll be eager to rise!

Prayer: We are weary and tired, Lord, and we come to You for rest.  Let us lay down the futility of trying to find meaning and purpose in getting and having.  Pour Your Spirit of renewal and power into our lives that we will find the rest that can only be found in You!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

 

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DayBreaks for 10/13/15 – Taking a Nap With Jesus

DayBreaks for 10/13/05: Taking a Nap With Jesus  

From the DayBreaks archive, October 2005:

Matt. 11:28-30 (NLT) – Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.

I look around me and all I see are blurs.  People coming and going at warp speed.  How many people in the course of a week do I talk with who tell me how tired they are, how busy they are – that they don’t have time for one more thing on their plate!  I’m worried for them – and also for myself in the busyness of begin a pastor.  There are many good causes, there are many things to which we can give our time and our effort – and most of us have problems setting boundaries and saying “No.” 

We seem to have forgotten that the greatest Cause of all that to which we can offer our time and energy to is God.  You see, God knows about human limitations – after all, He built them into us.  And unlike us, He’ll readily admit that we have weaknesses and need rest.  We don’t want to admit that we need anything at all – even if it is just rest.  And so we drive ourselves to the point of exhaustion trying to be in twelve different places at once, doing twelve different things simultaneously.

In Messy Spirituality, Mike Yaconelli wrote: “Actually, we do know how to rest; we simply refuse to rest.  Rest is a decision we make.  Rest is choosing to do nothing when we have too much to do, slowing down when we feel pressure to go faster, stopping instead of starting.  Rest is listening to our weariness and responding to our tiredness, not to what is making us tired.  Rest is what happens when we say one simple word: ‘No!’  Rest is the ultimate humiliation because in order to rest, we must admit we are not necessary, that the world can get along without us, that God’s work does not depend on us.  Once we understand how unnecessary we are, only then might we find the right reasons to say ‘Yes!’  Only then might we find the reasons to decide to be with Jesus instead of working for him.  Only then might we have the courage to take a nap with Jesus.”

I’m not by nature a “napper.”  It seem that there’s too much to do.  But I need to learn the lesson that I am unnecessary.  God’s work will go on without me, as will the world itself.  When we’re so busy “doing,” it is hard to be sitting at the feet of Jesus and learning.

PRAYER: God, if we don’t slow ourselves down, I pray you will slow us down until we get our priorities in line with what is truly important! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright by 2015 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

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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DayBreaks for 06/24/11 – The Sandman of Gethsemane

DayBreaks for 06/24/11 – The Sandman of Gethsemane

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

The Sandman of Gethsemane

I really don’t know where the concept of the sandman came from.  Every parent knows about the “sandman”, and quite often prays for the sandman to come and visit the kids on those nights when the children are full of energy!  The sandman is tasked with bringing sleep to the weary.

Sometimes the sandman is welcome – and then again, there are times when the sandman isn’t welcome – if you are sitting in church, at your desk in school or at work, or when driving a car.  At times like those, the “sandman” is not our friend – he is our enemy.  The “sandman” isn’t new in the 20th century.  Long ago, in a garden on a hillside, the disciples were struck by this untimely visitor as described in Matthew 26:40: “40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.

Have you ever, with the best and most noble intentions, risen up early or stayed up late to spend time in the word or in prayer but fell asleep?  Or, perhaps at a very critical time in your life, when you really needed to talk with God and hear from Him, you start to pray…and pray…and pray…and fall asleep.

Satan is not only the father of lies, but he uses other stratagems to keep us from the things that will strengthen our souls, including weariness that brings either spiritual or physical sleep. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6 reminds us that we are to be different: “5 You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

I’m sure that when the disciples got to Gethsemane, they had no intention to fall asleep during Jesus’ hour of need.  But you see, they had no idea that Jesus was coming into his time of need.  And therein is the challenge.  Perhaps there is someone right now that really needs you and your support.  You may have the greatest of intentions – but when the time of need comes, be aware that Satan will do his best to get you to shut your eyes and miss the opportunity.  Don’t let him lull you to sleep in such a way that you forsake your obligations and miss your opportunities.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 06/14/11 – Faces

DayBreaks for 06/14/11 – Faces

NOTE: Galen is on Sabbatical until 7/11.  Until he returns, DayBreaks will be publishing prior devotions (that is, if Galen has access to the Internet!)  Thanks for your understanding!

It has been a long and tiring trip.  I sit now on the airport shuttle bus at the San Jose airport, returning from yet another business trip.  Fourteen days has seen me in 4 different towns, sleeping in four different beds, and eating in who knows how many restaurants.  Now I’m heading to the parking lot to get in the car for the hour trip home.

I’m tired.  I look forward to the “day” when I’ll never be tired again.  When I won’t ache in the morning when I awaken.  I look about me on the bus and see faces – faces etched, carved and lined with the wrinkled roadmap of reality.  Lines and creases – some deep, some less so – but they all speak volumes.  The pain of broken relationships, the weariness of the flesh, the tiredness of the spirit are all visible on the shuttle bus tonight.  There is an old saying about the eyes being the window of the soul.   Scripture suggests that our faces reflect what we are: (Prov. 27:19) “As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.

As I sit looking around the shuttle bus at the faces of life with eyes that stare but do not seem to see, I suddenly am struck with the thought that I wonder if I look any differently than the rest.  Then, I look across the bus and leaning ever so slightly to the right so I can see my reflection in the glass window on the other side of the bus, I realize how tired I look, too.  I have a dawning awareness, as I gaze at my reflected image, that I don’t look any different than the rest of my fellow travelers.  I find myself forcing myself to smile to perhaps – just perhaps – cause someone else to smile, too.  Alas, it doesn’t work.

I’ve felt this often on this shuttle bus – the hopelessness, the weariness, the emptiness – and I am overcome with the weight of it all – of life and death, morning and evening, the unending cycle of daily existence.  Prov. 15:13 says “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”  I fear there is much heartache on this bus tonight and every night.  It makes me angry at the enemy of our souls, then I realize that much of our heartache is caused by no one except ourselves and the poor choices that we make.

I think also about the words of Jesus from the gospel of John: “…but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  How well do I follow that command?

Eccl. 8:1 – “Who is like the wise man?  Who knows the explanation of things?  Wisdom brightens a man’s face and changes its hard appearance.

I hope the next time that I’m on the shuttle bus, that I’ll have a bit more wisdom so that my face isn’t as hard and that His victory will shine through – even just a bit.  I hope you will, too.

Copyright 2001 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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