28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.Matthew 11:28-30 KJV
We don’t use the word weary very much in our culture today. But it is slightly different than just being tired. Being tired is what we describe feeling after physical exertion. This is the result of a long day of work or chores. The primary focus of being tired is the physical. We end up with sore muscles, inflamed joints, or just a general sense of fatigue. But this is not what it means to be weary.
We talk about being weary when we are going to a much deeper place and how the activity that we are performing affects us. When we are weary the effect on our emotions and our sense of purpose is what is deeply affected.
The causes or reasons for weariness are as varied as the people we encounter on life’s road. Whether it be a marriage that is being stressed by the circumstances of life or the toll of looking after an elderly parent. Or just the ongoing drudgery of enduring a job that you no longer find fulfilling, all these can be sources of weariness.
In the midst of the daily rhythms and routines of life, we find God breaching the feeling that we have with his presence. We see this most intently in Jesus’s birth. God becomes a man and enters into the human experience. He lives among a broken people, worn and tattered by the ravages of sin, and doing all they can to make it through another day. While we have the advantages of technology and quick access to information this does not change that the human experience in striving to meet fundamental needs has remained essentially the same.
How do we know that this human experience is more regular than we may typically consider being true? I think it’s seen in the stories that are passed on from one generation to the next. We can see it in the parables, fables, in moral tales that can be found in every culture and civilization that is lived on the planet.
The fact that we can still learn the principles and concepts contained within the stories today is a testament to a general commonality experienced by all humanity. Even separated by time and cultural understandings we can learn from others through these principles.
This is why when we talk about weariness we can know that it is not a new phenomenon in the human condition. It is actually quite common. But that is not the way we experience it. That is not the way we describe it when and if we share it with someone else. When we are in the midst of a season of weariness it can be one of the most isolating times of our life. And again, this is quite normal.
So what do we do? How do we deal with these times of weariness?
The short answer is that we must not do it alone. The temptation and tendency to cordon off those who would have an interest in helping is one we have to fight against. The example of Christ contained in the verses at the beginning of this post is quite instructive. Jesus enters into the human experience and offers to journey with us through it all. This is the example we should model. This is the mindset that we should adopt.
We all at one point to another will find ourselves feeling weary, burdened down by the weight of life. But when that moment comes we do not have to go through it by ourselves. We must learn to practice asking for help. It is not always easy. But it will always be worth the effort when we can find someone who is willing to enter into our weariness and help us to get to the other side of it.