“When was the last time you were thriving Corrie?” That was the question I was asked recently by a friend of mine. While I had not been asked this question this way before, I knew what she was looking for. Over the past few months each time she has seen me and asked me how I was doing, the answer has always been, “Tired.” If someone consistently tells you that they are tired, one will begin to think that they should slow down and get some rest.
However as I have had some time to reflect on her question, I have had many different experiences that give me different types of tiredness.
There is the physical fatigue of spending 15 days in Nebraska helping to take care of my ailing father. Those days were filled with physically helping my dad with physical tasks such as dressing and getting up and down. Those days also included taking him to doctors and trying to help him regain strength, designing an exercise program to help with endurance, strength building and putting on some weight.
There is also the emotional and mental stress of dealing with my mother during those same 15 day in Nebraska. Her needs are different from my dad’s and can easily be overlooked in the day to day dealings with my dad.
There is the exhaustion that comes with pushing the body physically to its maximum capacity as when one is training for a marathon or working in the back yard. The body is made to work, but as one works the muscles, they are sometimes stretched to their limit and need to rest and rebuild before they can continue.
Then there is the gospel tiredness that comes when one drives 20 hours from a somewhat hot, humid Minnesota to the oppressive heat of the gulf coast to teach the God glorifying truths of the gospel. No matter how tired one is, there is a renewal of energy when you hear, “it is good to see you Miss Corrie. Can I talk to you about___?” What a privilege to teach children from kindergarten to high school about the deep truths of God and watch their faces as they begin to make connections. There is a comfort that comes with knowing that each night as your head hits the bed in the sultry night air and that the window air conditioner will take you from being very uncomfortable to only slight uncomfortable, you will wake up and do the same thing over and pray that God will again make connections for these precious children! God is indeed good.
There is a thread that runs through each of these different types of tiredness. None of these have been chosen by me, but they are divine appointments that God has woven into the tapestry called my life. Each has pushed me out of my comfort zone and to the foot of the cross. I have learned things about God that I wouldn’t have learned in the same or deep way if God had not brought these situations into my life.
So When was the last time I was thriving? – Each time I minister to a family member, friend or one of the high school kids in Pearlington, when I am clinging to the cross and God gives the strength I need for each of those appointments. When I am relying on my strength, I feel tired and pushed to the limits of my abilities.
The words of the apostle Paul come to mind as I write this – And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)
As long as the Lord gives me strength, I will continue to go hard after the ministries that God has given me. I will love with abandon and pour myself out for the sake of the gospel. Rest will always come, but opportunties can pass much to quickly if I am not on the look out.