Tired and Exhausted

Kathy Rice

August 5, 2019

It sounded like a good idea: “Come out on Monday night after work and participate in a work night at the church”. Lifeway Church is preparing for the August 25th launch in our new facility, and there are a lot of little things that need to be done. I wasn’t sure what I could do, but I could hardly wait to see what our new building looks like, and I knew my contractor husband, Donnie, would be a great help, so I volunteered him, and I came along.

Donnie immediately was put to work, and although Misty had plans for the evening, she gave me my first task before she left: organize the storage room. Take all the boxes off the shelves, move the shelving to their permanent location against the wall in the same room, and put the boxes back on the shelves. I excelled! I not only moved the shelves but straightened up some of the items that hadn’t yet found a home. 

Then Alicia had me help move folding chairs to the storage room.

Alicia was looking for other things Bethany and I could do. There was Sherrie. She was busy folding Lifeway staff shirts with Krisy and Madison. Lots and lots of shirts! They didn’t fold them like me. I fold my shirts in half so the crease is right in the front down the middle. Un-uh, they carefully folded them like stores fold theirs, with the front of the shirt all nice and flat – well, I’d have messed that up, so I was relieved she didn’t suggest I help there!

I helped Bethany pull a couple of wall racks out of boxes and haul some trash to the dumpster out back. 

Alicia tried to find something else for me to help with. We peered into the pre-school room and there was Brianna working to put together a complicated toy barn and silo out of something similar to Legos. 

“Maybe you could help Brianna,” Alicia chirped. 

You gotta understand, 12-year-old Brianna, although a young lady, was a kid way more recently than me, and she looked like she had it all under control. I gave a look to Alicia, and she quickly said to Brianna, “maybe your brother can help”. I think she got the hint. I was never any good with blocks anyway.

Donnie was busy using his “technical skills,” Steve was high on a lift, half his body above the ceiling tiles playing with electrical wires; everyone seemed to have something important to do, but my usefulness was waning, my feet started to hurt, and I felt totally fatigued. I knew Mark was expecting me to submit a story today, and all month I struggled with writer’s block. A lot is happening in my life at work and with my family. You’d think I could draw from that, but I still had nothing. 

I decided I’d take a break and go out to the van to pray and meditate (and prop up my aching feet) and see what God had for me. A heaviness came over me, and I dozed until a car beeped next to me as someone pushed their remote lock on their key fob.

I meandered back inside the “construction zone” and found Donnie in the infant’s room hanging a flat-screen T.V. with Jon. I flopped into a comfortable rocking chair and sighed, “I’m exhausted.”

Jon quipped, “That’s what happens when you walk behind cars.”

I laughed. 

He asked, “Do you know what happens to people who walk in front of cars? They get ‘tired’.” 

Now that was worth a LOL. 

I found a piece of cardboard and a pen and I started writing.

There is nothing more satisfying than falling into bed after a full day of hard, satisfying work. I know what it’s like to be tired when you need to stay awake. I’m reminded of some of our trips driving all night on the way to Montana to visit my family, or staying up all night with a crying baby, or fretting over a problem that you have no control over, but the worry keeps you from falling asleep. Eventually rest comes, (hopefully not while you’re behind the wheel), and being able to close your eyes and sleep is truly a gift from God.

I think I heard a preacher once say, “the world isn’t going to get saved with well-rested saints.” I would add, no war was won with well-rested soldiers, but Jesus, in the midst of a violent storm, slept, and that rest could only come from the security of knowing His Father was protecting the boat He was in. That’s a Man who knew He is favored of God. Once you understand you are God’s favorite, that security will surround you too. 

“Don’t become weary in well-doing, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

There is a weariness that is physical from working or playing hard, staying awake long hours, having a great responsibility that keeps your nerves on high alert and attentive. Then, there is a weariness that comes from being bored with something because it happens too often or you have too much, or it just gets old to you.

About a month ago my employer informed all the employees in the corporate office that we will be unemployed in 2 months. The parent company that bought our smaller company years ago is now moving the corporate operation to Kansas. I recognized even before the announcement that I needed to explore other employment opportunities, so although it’s devastating to many of my friends, I see it as God rescuing me from a negative environment, and I’m excited to see what He has for me. 

As we continue to work, I see so many of my co-workers becoming weary. They feel betrayed by the company and are just biding their time until they can secure a position elsewhere. 

Frankly, I’m happy for the experience I’ve had, and until I clock out for the last time, I know that God wants me to give them an honest day’s work. “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23

 God gives us strength and encourages us to stay strong. 

“Come to me all ye who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Mathew 11:28.

“My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Consider Him (Jesus) who endured from sinners such hostility against Himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint-hearted. Hebrews 12:3.

So, I am not walking in front of any cars but I’m “tired”, and I’m staying away from the back of the cars but I’m “exhausted”. I’m going to do just what Jesus would do. I’m going to sleep. 

Good Night and may God bless you! 

About the Author: Kathy Rice

Kathy Rice has lived in Pennsylvania since marrying her husband in 1977. She was born and raised in Montana, and attended Montana State University and YWAM’s School of Evangelism in Bozeman. She met her husband on a wagon train that went across the United States in 1976 during the bicentennial with Youth With A Mission. She attended Christ for the Nations in Dallas, Texas, and worked in Haiti among the impoverished nationals where her first child was born. Her six grown children currently live in central Pennsylvania, and she enjoys time with her thirteen grandchildren. Kathy has authored a book, Kathy Run, telling of her young life on a farm in northeast Montana while attending a one-room school. She is currently a Realtor® with Re/Max of Lebanon County. Many of her inspirational pieces are drawn from her experiences on the farm, on the mission field, and raising her family next to her husband, Donnie Rice.


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