Words For a Weary Heart
“I grow weary when I can’t accomplish what I want to do.”
“I am weary when I worry too much.”
“I am physically and mentally drained with no strength left in me.”
“I feel overwhelmed and tempted to give up.”
“I am carrying and shouldering a heavy load, enduring both physical and emotional stress for too long.”
“I find that being in constant fear from failure is stressful and draining.”
“I lose hope when I’m weary.”
These are some of the responses I got from my teacher colleagues when I asked what being weary feels or looks like to them.
None of us are exempt from getting to the point of weariness.
As I thought about how to respond to these statements, I was reminded of the story of the prophet Elijah. A man who, just like my colleagues, felt no strength left to go on.
The story says that King Ahab and the people of Israel had turned against God and worshiped Baal instead. God sent Elijah to tell the king that there would be a drought because of their disobedience. It did not rain for three years. Angry with Elijah, Ahab spent these years trying to find him, perhaps to punish him with death. When Elijah finally showed up, he challenged all of Baal’s prophets to prepare a sacrifice and place it on an altar for Baal. They took up the challenge. All day they prayed, danced, and shouted to Baal to send fire to light up the altar they had built, but nothing happened.
Elijah then built an altar, put firewood on top of stones, and soaked the altar with water. He prayed, and God sent fire that burned up the sacrifice—the wet wood and stones! The people, amazed by what had happened, fell to the ground and cried twice, “The Lord—He is God!” Elijah then commanded the prophets to be apprehended and killed.
Angry, Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, sent Elijah a message saying that she would have him die just as the other prophets did. Frightened, Elijah ran to the wilderness for his life. He sat down under a bush and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life.” Then he laid down and fell asleep (1Kings 19:1–5).
Elijah was both physically and spiritually tired. He was saddened that God’s people had turned against Him, thought that he was the only faithful one left, and was afraid of those who were coming after him to kill him. This is the same man who earlier had shown, in a miraculous way, who was the only true God. But now Elijah was exhausted. I can imagine Elijah’s desperate call for security and peace in his life. His heart was weary.
In response, God told Elijah that He would pass by. Soon after, Elijah heard the roaring of a great and powerful wind, followed by an earthquake and fire. Then, a gentle whisper. This was when Elijah knew God Himself had shown up.
Elijah experienced God’s presence when he had reached the lowest point in his life. There he received a renewed strength to continue the ministry the Lord had bestowed upon him.
We all have experienced occasions when life gets to be too much to handle, and it is tempting to give up as Elijah did. Elijah had nothing else left in him but to let go and allow God to give him the strength that he needed.
Sometimes, it is when we have reached rock bottom where we find renewed purpose. As you reflect on this, I’d like for you to consider these truths when you feel your heart is weary:
Trust Him. God will never fail you. He Himself goes before you and will be with you. He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be discouraged (Deut. 31:8).
Rest in Him. God will sustain you. He has made you and will carry you. He will rescue you (Isa. 46:4).
Seek His face. In your most desperate times, reach out to God. He sees you. He is with you (Matt. 28:20). He will not forget you. He has engraved you in the palms of His hands (Isa. 49:15–16).
Receive His strength. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26). He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (Isa. 40:29).
Pour it all out to His feet. Allow Him to fill you back up, receiving renewed strength and purpose. He waits for you to surrender your weary soul. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isa. 40:31).
Above all, remember that God loves you. Do not give up! Jesus is your Shepherd; He will restore you (Psalm 23). Listen as He calmly whispers to you that you are deeply and completely loved by Him.
In your weariness, may you be satisfied by His unending peace.