Teaching. We know this profession is exhausting. Lesson planning, team meetings, after school functions, early morning tutorials, lunch while making copies, parent conferences and grading papers will wear anyone out. And that was just Monday. Once when I knew I was running on fumes, I decided to treat my tired self to some “me-time”. I just wanted to sit in a place and not think about all the things that made me tired; so to that place I went, by myself. And it was nice. Just sitting, eating, reading. I decided to take a dip in the Well, so I opened up my bible app (yay 21st century) and read whatever popped up. Can you guess the very first thing that I saw? Jesus was tired. (Don’t you love when that happens!?) In the 4th chapter of John’s gospel he is relaying the story of Jesus’ interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well. Since the Pharisees were getting their robes all in a bunch (over false rumors, at that) Jesus decided it was time to exit Judea and head back to Galilee, which meant going through Samaria. Around noon, and I can only imagine what a noon in the desert feels like, Jesus decided to stop at the well because He was tired.
Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.-John 4:4-6 (NIV)
Jesus was tired. I promise you I felt like crying when I read it. My Jesus. Supernatural power having, water-walking, 40 day and night fasting Jesus was tired. How keen was Hebrews’ author when he penned “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are —yet he did not sin ” in Hebrews 4:5 Jesus really knows what it is like to be tired, hungry, angry and sad. But He did not allow that to impede His mission on earth or dissuade Him from carrying out His Father’s will. The journey was exhausting, so he rested. As the chapter continues we see that Jesus has an encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well. During the course of their time together this woman draws from Jesus what He is pouring out, the revelation of who He is as the Messiah and how she can receive a “spring of water welling up to eternal life.” It is because Jesus took the time to rest and reset that this life lesson was able to take place. Imagine how differently the Samaritan woman’s life might have changed if Jesus chose not to rest. What lives are waiting to be impacted by your resting?
Be renewed from the Well within. I find it ironic that Jesus never gets the bucket of water He asked the Samaritan woman for, but she gets an everlasting well. Jesus did not wait, nor rely on, physical resources to give Him the strength to minister and neither must we. We must constantly be refreshed by the Well within if we desire the energy to carry out God’s will for our lives no matter our physical state.
It is not weak to admit that we are tired and need rest. It is important to rest. Know that God can use us even in our state of rest. We don’t always need to be running from one soccer game to another mentoring, helping, coaching, preaching and teaching, wearing ourselves out trying to be used by God. If we stay yielded to the Spirit, we can trust that we will not miss out on an opportunity to be used by Him even while we are resting. He knows which green pastures you’re resting in and can use you even there. In fact some of your students’ best learned lessons may happen when you rest.
-Can you admit when you are tired and need to rest?
-Are you stretching yourself thin trying to be “used by God” but just feeling used up?
-Do you trust that no matter where you are or what you are doing God can use you?
-When was the last time you truly rested?
-Examine how willing you are to be used in your state of rest.
Father God, thank you for allowing your son, Jesus, to truly walk in my shoes and be an example of how to rest when the journey of life makes me weary. Holy Spirit, please help me to evaluate when I truly need to rest and remind me that it is ok to pause. Show me how to trust that I can be used by you in times of work and in times of rest. In Jesus’ name, Amen.