Yesterday’s Advent reading and activation was an invitation to fix our thoughts on what is true (Phil. 4:8) – even if the truth is embracing and being honest about where we are feeling weary. I hope you took me up on the challenge to share with someone where you are weary. Lean into it. Don’t pretend to perform. When we’re weary? We should own it, embrace where we truly are, and invite God to meet us there. That’s the first step on the pathway to rejuvenation.
Praying to God and admitting “I am weary of 2020!” is a healthy step that breaks religious platitudes and any habits of spiritualizing denial we may have formed. Learning to dive deeper and asking ourselves the follow up question, “why am I so weary?” is where change begins. The conversation that follows has more to do with the condition of our heart than the condition of our circumstances.
God isn’t after a change in behavior, He’s after our hearts; and access to our hearts is determined by our humility. “I am weary” can be a dead end statement of fact if we don’t call out to God at that dead end. But when we discover the why and can say “I am so weary because _________”, we are now in preparation for action. We are not only owning our condition, we are owning our solution. We are declaring war on the why by shifting our perspective.
In Phil 4:8, after asking us to set our thoughts on what is true, Paul (the author of the letter) goes on to say, “…whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Think on those things.”
In Episode 1 of our Advent series last Sunday (you can watch it here), Niesje said something that shook me a bit: “I’m thanking 2020 for so many things that have happened…”. Wait, what? Thanking 2020? This statement rattled me, and my incredulous response revealed my cynicism.
I’m weary. That’s true. What’s the why? I’m weary because I’ve allowed negativity to narrate my story. While I’m not causing the difficult things to happen in 2020, I am responsible for allowing myself to become worn out by not fixing my thoughts in the right way.
Can I say to 2020, “thank you”? Thank you for relationship growth and connection with my kids that I wouldn’t have had any other year. Thank you for forcing me to new depths of dependence on God. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to tangibly reach and impact our community. The list goes on, and once I start writing down thankfulness to 2020, my perspective changes and weariness begins to lift. Nothing external changed! Everything difficult is still there, but the thrill of hope is returning. Jesus doesn’t see 2020 as a pass for me to live below His victory, and neither should I. If my victory, joy, freedom and kindness can be defeated by a challenging year, was it ever more than a mirage? Did I mistake ease and comfort for faith and depth?
“Rejoice in the Lord IN ALL THINGS. I’ll say it again…rejoice.” Phil. 4
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1
We want to hear from you and be in this journey together! In the comments, on your feed, in an email to us ([email protected]), or to a trusted friend, share the things you can thank 2020 for. Resist the negativity and sarcasm that make you short-sighted. Ask God’s Spirit to meet you with Heaven’s perspective and invite the thrill of hope to lift the weariness off of you.