Those summer months, the ones that are supposed to offer respite and refreshment, brought restlessness. After a long season of healing, I longed to get back to the things I’d been forced to set aside, but my body and soul seemed to know something my brain didn’t. In these moments of longed-for space on our calendar, why couldn’t I settle? What was this?
I didn’t understand my weary.
I took a seat in my favorite chair on the back deck, the one with the navy blue cushions, and opened to the final chapter of a Bible study I’d shelved a few months earlier. On this day, I arrived at the very page I needed.
I came to the place where Elijah’s weary caught up with him.
After calling down the fire, after eliminating the prophets of Baal, after outrunning a chariot, Elijah crashes in body and spirit. Though I’m no Elijah, I list my own chapter titles. After battling pain and the inability to walk normally for a year, after undergoing a partial knee replacement, after simultaneously seeking healing from unexpected, deep emotional trauma, I suppose I, too, crashed in body and spirit.
On my deck, I read anew about how the Lord nourished Elijah, giving him food and space to rest for 40 days.
I read these words exactly as I’m trying to wrangle my restlessness and feelings of failure, when He whispers, “Daughter, it’s okay to rest. I made you to need rest.”
Then came Priscilla Shirer’s soothing words from “Elijah: Faith and Fire”:
“God is not mad at you because your body is tired or your mind is frayed or your soul is unusually heavy—not after the kind of project you’ve just finished, or the difficulties you’ve just endured, or the emotional marathon you’ve just run…Instead, He stands patiently ready to minister to you…”
Friend, when we’re weary, we need not feel shame. He knows when we need rest better than we do. Let’s not despise the ‘small’ seasons when God is doing big things in our hearts. Let’s trust Him in the pauses. Only He can restore our souls (Psalm 23:3).