Trading exhaustion for joy

I don’t often wake up already exhausted, but today is one of those days.  It’s unexplained so I’ll blame it on the overflow of weekend full of friends, family, and fulfillment. There was a full menu of activity from morning to evening – so that has to be it.  On days like this, my first thought is Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  I love that verse when I am weary. God probably intended those words to apply to being spiritually and emotionally tired, but even those cause physical exhaustion. Here’s a continuation of Matthew 11 in the message translation. “Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Yesterday at church we had a family I call the music family. They are the Birdsongs and if anyone has reason to be exhausted they do. They travel sometimes hundreds of miles a day to get to their next destination where they minister through music and through speaking with wisdom about God and faith. Throughout their musical presentation they stop and pray – right in the middle of a song. When they speak, wisdom tumbles out and it’s obvious that they are speaking from a heart that exudes strong faith. Before they can sing, they have to set up a lot of equipment, test the sound system, and practice … only to face even more work to tear down the set and pack it away for their journey. Exhausting! Traveling itself is exhausting. But I never see  the  Birdsong family express anything but joy. I wonder if they have Proverbs 12:25 implanted in their hearts. “Anxiety in a person’s heart weighs him down, but an encouraging word brings him joy.”

I know they encourage others; I hope they receive masses of encouragement in return.  My goal today is to provide an encouraging word that brings joy.  It starts here …. Monday morning. How about you? Do you want to join me in sparking some joy in others through an encouraging word?  Let’s get out there!


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