Summary: Exhaustion is something we all struggle with. Paul teaches us how to battle spiritual exhaustion in our lives in this message.
When I sat down in my office on Wednesday to write this message I found it very ironic that I was planning to preach on how to battle exhaustion in our lives while at the same time I was going through a very exhausting week. So, basically this message has come at just the right time. This week has been tiring and rewarding at the same time. As most of you know we took on our own Extreme Home Makeover WWC style for the Brandwein family. I am excited that we will be revealing the home to the family this afternoon. It has been a crazy, stress filled and exhausting week. Not just for me but for all our volunteers who put in a lot of hours helping on this project in addition to working their full time jobs and taking care of their families.
A project like this always starts out with a lot of energy but by the middle and definitely towards the end you really have to lift each other up and push each other to reach the end. It’s not because people lose desire, they are just tired. I have to say that I have never been more proud of this church. I have never been more proud of a group of people who were so willing to step up and help a family in need. You showed grace and mercy to a family that many of you don’t know. You worked together as brothers and sisters in Christ. You encouraged each other, built new friendships and grew in faith. It was really powerful to watch.
I think though the person I am most proud of is my wife. Taylor took on the role of project manager and I was just thoroughly impressed with her organization, determination, leadership, humility and sense of humor. I greatly appreciate all the men and women who were willing to take direction from her. Especially our men who know way more than she does. You do this stuff for a living and could have come across as arrogant and proud, but you were humble and took direction from my wife and for that I thank you and I have the utmost respect for you guys. I’ve been taking direction from her for years so I was happy to see I’m not the only one who cowers under her iron fist. For those of you who were unable to be a part of this project my plan is to prepare a video to be shown in church next week. We’ll also post it on the website and on my blog. We want everyone to see just how awesome the people of WWC are.
Now I don’t say all of that without a purpose. What was accomplished last week was really amazing, but it was also exhausting. It was rewarding and at times discouraging, fun and frustrating. People filled with hope and a happiness and eagerness to help and also at times a spirit of doubt, “Will this family really appreciate this? Will they keep it clean?” “Is it really worth putting money into this home?” To which I would say are not wrong questions if they aren’t asked with the wrong attitude. If that makes sense. And of course those questions are often asked when we are exhausted not because we don’t love and trust someone but because we want to know that our work is not in vain.
Those questions of doubt and wonder often come up when we are exhausted. “Does my husband appreciate all I do?” Do my kids appreciate all I do for them?” “Does my boss appreciate all I do?” “Is this work worth it?” “Is being tired, worn out, frustrated, discouraged worth it?” To which I would say yes, if you were doing it for the right reasons. If you’re doing it for you and your own glory, pat on the back or a nice plaque on the wall then no it’s not worth it, it’s fleeting, temporal. If you’re doing it to love God, love people and serve the world then yes, it is worth it.
The fact of the matter is we live in a world where exhaustion is unavoidable. We are trapped in physical, limited bodies that get tired and in order for us to keep pushing forward, battle through our exhaustion we need a purpose to it all. We need to know that there is something out there that we will ultimately reach or there is some meaning behind what we are doing. We need to know that our faith and works will not be in vain but that it has purpose and meaning. I would submit to you this morning that for the Christian in here Jesus is our purpose and Heaven is our ultimate reward. We battle through exhaustion in this life for this reason: to please Jesus, live for Jesus, suffer for Jesus, serve for Jesus, to love others for Jesus. We give countless hours to a project for another family because we love Jesus and even though we are tired, worn out, exhausted and can barely stand we swing the hammer one more time, and we paint one last brush stroke, we serve that last person even though we just served 100, we share Christ with this person even though we just shared with that person, or we continue to love and respect our spouse even though they don’t reciprocate or we continue to work hard at our jobs and give 100% everyday even though our boss doesn’t seem notice because we love Jesus and want all people to know His love as well.