My husband, Eric and I were asked two weeks ago to become the pastors in relationships. You’ve never heard of this ministry? Neither had we. It had a kind of romantic sound to it. I pictured swirly filigrees around the title. But after stepping into two weeks of meeting, one on one insightful conversations, and lot’s of praying for dynamic people, we became exhausted.
Driving home from a double date that ended at 7pm, giggly to go home, read a book, and go to bed. Saturday night. . . at 7pm. . .read a book!?! Eric made a sexual innuendo, trying to spark a fire to a sleeping campsite. Honestly, it sounded promising. That was until arriving home I remembered I promised to help our 14-year-old daughter learn 160 Spanish flash cards. I honestly had a dream while holding up the 154th card and told her the answer in my sleep.
Looking at brochures for retirement homes for Eric’s dad made us jealous, “He would get meals, and a ride to the grocery store?! I want that!” I said pouting. Eric looked at me with his eyebrows wrinkled over his glistening baby blues, “Are we getting old?” This really has been concerning us until we realized the toll working out issues in relationships have had on us. For two weeks we had not only added a second helping to our already overloaded plate, but been working on adrenaline that was crashing fast.
If you are reading this and going through stressful situations with relationships, be it home, work or friendships, you are not necessarily getting “old” but could be encountering exhaustion from the mental struggles over these relationships. Strife is the act of striving; a strenuous endeavor, or angry contention.Our bodies are not meant to carry strife and if we don’t solve these problems they can manifest in serious physical diseases.
While reading over the book of Judges I found this quote, “Exhausted yet pursuing.” Wow. did this ever explain our current circumstances! God’s people were overcoming their enemy; the Midianites (which literally means “strife”). As they had “strife” on the run they were exhausted but kept pursuing. Battles are strenuous and exhausting, but are we putting away and destroying the enemy of strife, or are we trying to tolerate and live with it? This is the key to unlocking the door of peace in our minds. If we are exhausted by pursuing freedom from strife than we will eventually obtain a peace that will lighten our loads and bring youthfulness back to our souls.
Ryan Hall, America’s long distance runner, and personal friend, holds the U.S. record in the half marathon (59:43). His personal story is that God has trained him. He made it to the Olympic games in London this year. He is one of my “Poster Children” for someone who is still actively pursuing his calling. . . yet exhausted.