The trouble with fatigue is it takes over all of your life. It’s not just the physical exhaustion that leaves your body drained of all strength. Fatigue seeps into your work-life, leaving you with difficult meetings and endless targets for improvement. You know that failure could bring costly consequences, and you’re under pressure to somehow control the uncontrollable. Some days you have lost so much confidence, that you doubt your own ability to do even the smallest job. You wonder whether you were even good at what you do in the first place.
Emotionally every emotion you possess is perilously close to the surface. One minute you’re positive and feel like you can do life, the next you’re so low it feels like the world has ended. Anger bubbles up from nowhere in particular aimed at no one in particular. Mood swings have become the new normal. And spiritually you are trying to navigate what it means for God to let you walk this path, you are trying to cling to a God who is bigger than your circumstances. Somehow you have to keep trusting even as the walls are closing in around you.
What you need from God changes day by day. Sometimes you don’t want a mighty commander who will help you plan the next battle. You may not always want an advocate to stand in your corner. You may not be looking for a wise counsellor offering answers or explanations. Although God is all these things.
Sometimes what you need most is a hiding place
Sometimes instead of dodging the arrows that are flying at you, you need to find a shield to hide behind. Some days you have to acknowledge that the battle is too big for you, and you have fought with the last ounce of your strength. You need a place of safety where you can lay down your sword and rediscover what you were fighting for. You are looking for a refuge, a place where it’s okay to show your weakness and your failures, to find sanctuary away from the firing line. A place where you can admit that you’re not sure you’re winning the war any more, and that some days you want to give up. You want a place as safe and secure as the arms of a parent, to hide within the unconditional love of someone who knows you inside out.
God is my hiding place
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory.
He is far bigger than any opponent I could face. He is the shield I can hide behind when it all gets too much. He is my father who knows everything about me and yet still loves me. No matter how fierce the battle gets, I am safe in his arms, held and protected. He will sing songs of victory over me, even on the days when I cannot raise my own voice.
I was singing in a band at a worship event Friday night. It was the end of a long week and I didn’t have much strength left. But I was too embarrassed to admit that my legs were really too weak to support me, I wanted to be stronger than that. I struggled through the first half standing up and not really connecting with God, my effort and concentration was going into staying standing, keeping up appearances. But it was the moment that I sat down that I instantly felt the presence of God. It was as if he had been waiting for me to swallow my pride and come to him as I was, weak and exhausted. It was if he was saying:
“I know you. I know you because I made you. I know your weaknesses. You don’t need to pretend in front of me. You are mine.”
Sometimes God isn’t asking us to soldier through on our own. He isn’t interested in us competing to see who can sacrifice the most. Sometimes he is waiting for us to fall into him. His arms are open waiting to catch us and carry us through the darker days. It’s okay to admit that we are weak and we need his strength to keep going. We can leave any armour of courage and bravery at the door and come to him weak and broken.
No matter how difficult the road we walk, or how weak we feel, we can take refuge in God’s loving arms. He is our hiding place.