Thursday, October 23, 2008

When You're Weary

In 1970 an album came out that most of you will be familiar with for at least one of the songs on it. Now, I was only 6 years old the year this album came out and my older sister was only 11, so I'm going to guess it was my mom that owned the album. In any event, it was played in our house for years and the one song on it that I had memorized forward and backward started out like this:

When you're weary,
feeling small,
When tears are in your eyes,
I will dry them all

Surely you recognize this? Indeed it is Bridge Over Troubled Water. Several years after the album came out when I was in the 8th grade our rather hip, rather cool choir teacher told us we'd be performing this song for the fall concert I was about as excited as a 14 year old could be. I'd been singing it for the last 8 years already, so I was prepared. What I wasn't prepared for was how it would sound with a class of 25 other kids singing it who loved it as much as I did. Let me tell you, the harmony and the soul in that choir room brought tears to the teacher's eyes, and many of her students as well. It's funny how I remember that like it was yesterday, and it actually happened 29 years ago. It was just one of those pivotal, emotional moments in life that stand out.

What made me think of this, was feeling weary. I often think of that line in that song when I feel weary. As a Christian, it's impossible to think of that line without attributing the One drying my tears to my Heavenly Father, even though that's not who the song was written about.

I know we can all feel weary sometimes, especially when it concerns faith and a Christian worldview. We can feel small, insignificant, inconsequential, ignored, overlooked, unimportant and even invisible. We can feel like we don't matter, we're disposable and what we have to say isn't worth anyone's time to listen to. It may sound strange, but when someone says "whatever" to me, those are exactly the feelings that immediately come up.

The solution to weariness however, is pretty simple, and pretty complex at the same time. The first thing you do is do NOT throw a pity party and entertain your feelings of despair or despondency. By that I mean do not dwell on those feelings to the point you're trying to convince yourself that you have every right to feel this way and it's all someone else's fault and therefore you're entitled. It may very well be the fault of someone else that you're feeling this way, and it may very well hurt a great deal, but that doesn't mean you stop there and set up camp in Entitled to Weary World.

We live in a time where the social message is incredibly ecumenical and filled with compromise everywhere you look. Even among Christians there are sometimes folks who will tell you not to be so dogmatic on doctrine and theology because it causes division. Yes, sound biblical theology and doctrine definitely does cause division and it should. There is God's truth, and then there is all else. Take a look at this passage:

Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, "DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory". "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord. (1Cor. 15:51-58)
I don't know about you, but I find that passage incredibly encouraging. We are not to cave in, compromise, run away or wimp out - but we are to be steadfast, immovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord and to do so knowing that this work is not empty or meaningless or a waste of our time, as it may at times appear.

May it serve you well to meditate on that last verse there, if you find yourself weary today for your faith and your stand for truth. May you know that your toil is not in vain, in the Lord. For additional encouragement, please take a moment to read Dare to be Like Daniel at Puplit Magazine. I wrote this post a few days ago and let it sit in draft, and then read this today and thought the timing was rather well orchestrated.

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