by Pam Farrel
I was weary—a tired to the bone, drop-dead fatigued, completely exhausted, “can’t take even one more step” kind of weary. It seemed we were caught in the perfect storm: the ship of our life being tossed about on a tumultuous sea of unending responsibilities.
The positive included constant travel for our ministry, which we loved, but it did take a physical and mental toll. We also had ongoing multiple book projects, which are wonderful blessings, but require much labor.
And in the midst of it all, we were dealing with aging parent care, which required Bill to drive through grueling Southern California traffic for months on end. We were both at the end of our proverbial ropes.
I knew that the Word has some prescriptions for handling weariness.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 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. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV )
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.” Psalms 62:5 NIV
“. . .Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31 NIV
The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex 33:14 NIV
“Six days do your work, but on the seventh day do not work…” Ex 23:12 NIV
I knew I needed rest, renewal, revival, rejuvenation—and recovery! So, when the Professional Women’s Fellowship hosted a one-day retreat at a lovely private estate, I went. And begged God to speak to me there and give me HOPE!
During the hour-long quiet time, I stretched out under the shade of a large tree near the pond. As I opened my journaling Bible, I couldn’t help but think of Psalm 23 as I lay down in “pasture” that was “beside still waters.” So, I continued to pray through the psalm: Lord, refresh my soul….guide me along the right paths for [Your] name’s sake.
I flipped opened my Bible to other Psalms, as I nearly always gain refreshing hope there. I landed on Psalm 55:22 (NIV): “ Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.”
I thought, “Wow Lord, this seems the perfect verse for me, but exactly what does it mean to “cast my cares” on You? And what does it mean that you will “sustain” me —because I REALLY need some sustaining power!”
After praying out my weariness, I looked up and found the word translated as “burden” could also be translated “assignment” or “gift”. I thought, “A gift? Really?” I was beginning to see that I had been viewing the responsibilities God had given me as a burden rather than a blessing. Obviously, I needed a paradigm shift to a more heavenly viewpoint!
I also saw the promise that God would “sustain” me– He would nourish, strengthen, and support me — and make me sufficient to handle my assignment. God was whispering hope to my soul, that whatever my ministry was depleting, God would pour back into me—and more!
In that moment, peace, relief, and a rejuvenating hope washed over me. To lock this insight into my mind, I sketched out two hands, representing God’s caring hands. In one palm was my “gift” of cares and in the other… myself.
Both you and your calling are held up by the Good Shepherd. We are in His sustaining, caring hands. God’s got us!
About the author: You too can find hope from God in the Psalms: Discovering Hope in the Psalms: A Creative Biblical Experience by Pam Farrel, Jean E. Jones, and Karla Dornacher, from Harvest House. Find out more at discoveringhopeinthepsalms.com.
Join the conversation: What burdens do you need to cast upon the Lord?
Photo by Victoria Palacios on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “Keeping Hope to Keep the Call”
I so need God’s daily refreshing and how true that can often be discovered in the Psalms. Thank you.