Running Out of Steam

full steam ahead

If you’re running out of steam, God may stop the train you’re on altogether.  He’s not doing it to punish you or hold you back.  He’s doing it to protect you.  He knows derailment can happen if you push forward too fast or out of sheer exhaustion.

As the train stops and sits idle, you feel antsy as if you’re wasting precious time staring out the window until God asks you to get off the train. He reaches out His hand to you and whispers, “Come to me.”

You take His hand, step down, and take a deep breath. Perhaps God wants you to look around because you may never pass this way again, and you don’t want to miss what He has for you in this very moment.

Maybe these tracks are leading you to something new, a new adventure with God, and you’re about to go through some major changes in your life.  Take a moment to relish the excitement, to hope.

Maybe it’s just been a long time since you’ve stepped away from the train to rest.  Take some time to catch your breath.  Breathe deeply.

Or perhaps the clinking of the wheels on the rails and the lonely echo of the whistle have been blocking out the still, small voice of God and He’s been trying to tell you something.  Take a moment to still your thoughts and listen for His voice.

As you’re holding His hand, standing a few feet from the tracks with the train at your back, relax.  The train is not going to leave without you. Focus on God.  Feel His hand gently holding your own.  Memorize the scent of autumn leaves mixing with the cold winter’s wind as it rushes to you from the horizon, the sunlight kissing your forehead.

Change is coming.  A new season is approaching.  Take it all in and cherish this time you have with God.

That’s why He stopped the train.  Not to discourage you or stop your momentum.  He simply wanted to take your hand and spend a little time with you.  He misses you when you’re rushing full steam ahead.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  (Matthew 11:28 NIV.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rest

rest

It can be pretty tough when circumstances in life suck the energy out of you like a leech the size of a small pony while leaving your brain in a fog.

Maybe you deal with food allergies and certain foods the rest of the world seems to devour without so much as a yawn set you into a tailspin of brain fog that only gets deeper as your mind plummets out of control, landing you on the couch for one sickening nap.

Maybe it’s work related; you work awful hours.  Or maybe it’s an unrelenting illness you battle daily or because of the medication.  Or maybe, just maybe, you’re left alone to tackle your corner of the world and you run on fragments of sleep and doses of caffeine so massive even a polar bear would get the jitters.

Whatever the cause, brain fog can be like pulling a tight, wool hat down over your face and walking around in a state of half-air, half-light.  Really, half YOU.  You can’t focus, can’t see straight, can’t remember what you just did or what you need to get done, and you feel drained on the inside of your brain somewhere.  Oh, and don’t forget to strap a miniature, yet just as hefty, sumo wrestler to each of your legs so you can get the full physical effect of your exhaustion every time you take a step.

It seems I lugged my sumo wrestlers around nearly all last week.  I know they like to jump on my feet and plop right down for a ride when I don’t eat right.  But I found out they also insist on tagging along when I switch to eating healthy foods too.  I started on a journey awhile back to take better care of my body (see the post, A New Journey) and getting my body acclimated to healthy foods was like sending my brain off on a cruise to the land of la-la where the fog hovered for days and the sumo wrestlers invited their friends to join in for a piggy back ride.

But here’s a thought:  God made our brains so of course He understands brain fog.  He understands exhaustion.  He really does.  And He makes a way through the fog and the weariness to get to us.  And He also knows how to peel off those sumo boys sitting on our feet.  It’s called:  R-E-S-T.

Wait a minute, did I just write that?  Are we actually supposed to rest when we don’t feel mentally “all there” or physically drained?

You bet we are.  I’m not saying you pull the school bus over and tell the kids to walk the rest of the way to school because you need a five minute power nap.  What I am saying is go easy on yourself and find time, no MAKE time, to rest.  Ask for help.  Tell so-and-so “NO” that you can’t do this-or-that today.  And don’t you dare feel guilty, my friend.

We all need moments of rest.

Even Jesus rested.  Do you remember He was sleeping in the boat during the storm before He was awakened to calm it?  (Matthew 8:23.)

But perhaps you have a house full of tornadic toddlers and a stack of laundry up to the ceiling fan and the idea of rest is as foreign to you as a moon rock, and actually, when you think about it, you’d like to tell me a thing or two just for bringing it up.  Wait!  I’m on your side.  And more importantly, God is on your side.  So talk to Him.  Pray.  (And I’ll be praying for you too.  See, I told you I’m on your side.)

That’s right.  Pray and ask God for help.  Right there while you’re driving home on fumes (not talking about the gas either) or mashing the potatoes or scrubbing the dishes.  Go ahead and cry in the sink of dirty dishes and let God hear how tired you are, how you want your mind back, your energy back.  Guess what?  He already knows.  He would never burst into your life and try to take over, but He will come when you call and sometimes in surprising ways.  Maybe a neighbor will stop by with a slow-cooker full of sloppy joes and an offer to babysit for the afternoon.  Ah, glorious naptime.

And just so you know, slowing down or resting is not a waste of time; something to rush out the door like an unwanted guest who will only embarrass you if your friends stop by.

Do you think receiving a blessing from God is a waste of time?  Well, if you don’t take care of YOU, why would He give you another blessing you might choose to ignore?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NIV.)