We’ll See You in Phoenix for Tea at 3
Editor’s Note: The following is an excerpt from A Woman Seeking God by Dorothy K. Patterson, just one of the resources graciously donated for this year’s Tea at 3 at the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix, AZ.
Fatigue – Every Woman’s Enemy
He makes me to lie down in green pastures. (Ps 23:2 NKJV)
Some year ago, my godly husband, in his zeal to give himself to God and ministry, poured out his energies and time beyond all endurance. His tired and broken body simply rebelled. After several weeks of illness at home, he was hospitalized, protesting all the way. A perceptive family member sent a message of concern that read simply, “He maketh me to lie down” (Ps. 23:2 KJV). Truer words were never spoken.
Time and again I have experienced that same frustrating “interference,” coming always at the height of my good works and busyness in the kingdom – a time-consuming and seemingly useless interruption in a crowded schedule of caring for my family and ministering for the Lord. Suddenly listless useless, and alone, I am led by the Lord to lie down. The Lord’s plan for making His children to lie down is designed to edify and restore. What does the plan entail?
Freedom from Fear
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. (2 Tim 1:7)
God alone can remove your fears and anxieties. You can become so busy that you cannot see Him and feel His presence ready to calm your panic over unfortunate happenings and release your terror over the uncertainties of life. You are already off to battle, in the pitiful strength of your own ingenuity, instead of resting in the Lord and letting Him remove fear, giving the power of strength, the patience of love, and the creativity of a sound mind. When fatigue overcomes, the first step is to release your fears and let God energize and renew you for the task.
Contentment with Circumstances
I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. (Phil 4:11)
When you are overtaken with exhaustion and fatigue, even a tiny molehill becomes an insurmountable mountain. Every problem is like a balloon. With every breath, the problem becomes larger and you become weaker. Yet God wants to give you contentment with your circumstances, a willingness to relax and rest in Him.
Victory over Trials
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it (1 Cor. 10:13 NKJV)
The divine Shepherd is constantly watching His sheep. He observes their behavior, and He is aware of their testing. God does not leave His children without the resources to resist and overcome trials tribulations. He has never promised to take you out of the problems, but He has promised to guide you through them.
Satisfaction of Needs
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” (John 6:35)
When your body has spent its last energy, it searches to satisfy the need for renewal of strength. Then God opens the lush, green pasture of His Word and reveals the knowledge of His will through the Holy Spirit in order to offer perfect satisfaction. How beautiful to know that the most exciting reward you will receive during your lying down is a filling with God’s Word.
The Enemy Warns as a Friend
God has redirected the enemy’s onslaught so that fatigue is a warning that you need time for the re-creation of energies. Many homes have battery-powered smoke detectors. When the batteries are worn out, the detector begins to beep gently, warning that the system must be rejuvenated. Fatigue is a warning system for the body to renew energies.
In looking at the purpose of God to restore your energies and renew your spiritual sensitivities in order to use you more effectively, you can say “Thank You” when He makes you “lie down,” especially because you will always find yourself in His “green pastures” which provide the perfect setting in which to reevaluate your commitment as the Lord rejuvenates your spirit and renews your body.
Patterson, Dorothy Kelley. A Woman Seeking God (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2013), 15-18.