She was tired. She was worn. She must have been. She had come on a little vacation from far away to visit me, but it could not have been too much of a vacation. I kept her busy. Between being smothered with love, wags, and sloppy kisses from the Walk by Faith Ministry dogs; to baking for and putting together Easter baskets for a pastor and his wife; to standing in her very first soup kitchen line (behind the food, mind you) to scoop up mountains of home-baked food; and lots more, my friend was utterly exhausted by the time I reminded her she’d promised to hand-dye Easter eggs for the dogs.
Easter Eggs for the Walk by Faith Ministry dogs plus pralyzed Mr. Simeon’s usual meal of scrambled eggs & special needs dog food
My friend had already told me she was too tired to boil and dye the eggs. Maybe this doesn’t sound like a whole lot of work, but it is for someone who had labored as hard as she had in my kitchen along with everything else she had set her heart and hand to. But I pushed, pressed, pressured, connived, did whatever I could to give her one last push. And keeping in line with the enormity of her heart, she went the extra mile.
My friend didn’t just boil and dye the eggs for the Walk by Faith Ministry dogs, but she reminded me that sometimes it is when we are the most worn out, the most beaten down, the most tired, the most exhausted, that going the extra mile bears the most significance.
The final mile of a marathon may be the hardest, but isn’t it also the most important? Someone could run 25 miles and quit right before the end. How much would the first 25 matter without the final one? I am not a marathoner, and I am quite sure I never will be. I have watched marathons, however, and am truly amazed by every foot, every yard, and every mile each person runs. Even those who do not finish, to me, achieve an amazing feat. But isn’t finishing the race the ultimate desire?
Dying Easter eggs and running marathons don’t have much in common, and following Jesus Christ may seem to have even less in common. But truly, there are several common denominators.
Endurance. Perseverance. Commitment. And victory. Not victory in the color and taste of the Easter eggs. Not what place a marathoner finishes in terms of everyone else. And not every single detail of a follower of Christ’s walk with the Lord. The victory is in going that final mile – when everything inside a person says, “I’m too tired. Too drained. Too exhausted. This is too much. It hurts. I hurt. I can’t anymore. I’m done. I’m weary.”
I have been in that place many times, I confess. I have even been there recently. Just too darned worn out. But anyone who knows me knows that I am as tenacious as a Pit Bull Terrier when it comes to the Lord. No matter how much my flesh screams out that I am done, that I quit, no more, I’m through, my spirit presses on. And I go the extra mile.
Someone told me long ago that the Lord equips us for what He calls us to do. If He is calling us to go another mile, I believe He will enable us to do so.
Just last night, I spoke with a friend who has been just as tired as I have recently. Though we have been tired for different reasons, we understood each other’s fatigue. I encouraged her to remember what the Bible says about what to do when we’re weary, and how to renew our strength. And I shared with her that “waiting on the Lord” is very different than people tend to think. The Concordance says that the definition of “waiting” on the Lord in this context actually means to “bind ourselves to”. In other words, we don’t just wait for the Lord. We bind ourselves to Him. When Jesus tells those of us who are weary to “yolk” ourselves to Him, isn’t the Bible telling us the very same thing?
I am pretty sure the Lord isn’t addressing people who are dying Easter eggs. And He may not be talking to people who are running marathons. But I do believe He is talking to those of us who are committed to following Jesus.
What does it mean to bind ourselves to the Lord? What does it mean to yolk ourselves to Him? I don’t know what it means to anyone else, but I do know what this means to me. Binding, or yolking myself to the Lord is the same thing as holding onto Him for dear life, hanging on with all of my might, grabbing onto Him with everything I’ve got. But this is not all. For me, it means seeking His face in prayer and quiet time, digging into the Bible, and reaching out to the Body of Christ. Most of all, it means spending intimate time with Him – loving on Him, being loved by Him, speaking to Him, writing to Him, listening to Him, and learning to rest in Him. Yes, it’s all about relationship with Him. If I’m going to be bound to Him, or yolked to Him, I’m in relationship with Him, right? And I’m not in a long-distance relationship with Him. I’m up close and personal.
I wish I could say my tired and worn-out days are behind me. They are not. In fact, I told a friend tonight I’m worn out from years upon years of challenges. Yes, I’m pretty weary. And I’ve got plenty of miles to go, as far as I can tell. Do I need perseverance, endurance, commitment, and victory? Absolutely. Rest? Yes, yes, yes. Do I need my strength renewed? Oh, yes again. Where can I go to be recharged so I can go the extra mile?
Isa 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Gal_6:9 “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”
Php 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Lord, please help the weary. Please renew our strength. Please help us to wait on you – not just to wait for you, not to just wait on you, but to cleave, to cling, to attach ourselves to, to bind ourselves to, to fasten ourselves to YOU. Please help us to not give up. Please help us to not go backward, and to not go down. Please help us to look to you, to yield to you, to submit to you. Please help us to stand together in you, to stand for you, to dig into your Word, to learn and to practice your ways, and to chase after you as our strength is renewed. Thank you for never giving up on us, and please help us to not give up on you nor on the journey walking with you. Amen.
Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.