There are times when constant pressures, lack of sleep, physical ailments, few rewards or the criticism of others can cause one to become weary. When weariness sets in the natural response is to avoid that which has caused the fatigue and exhaustion. Some people hide, pull back or flee from the source of pressure. Tension and frustrations can mount, or bitterness may arise. Some people quit their responsibilities, or they may become sullen and depressed. Others try to apply themselves more diligently, hoping that hard work, perseverance and determination will help to overcome the source of the weariness.
When weariness sets in there are some Scripture verses that do not seem encouraging. One of these verses is found in Gal. 6:9 where we are encouraged, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” The problem with this verse is that it tells us not to be weary but it does not give us the key to overcoming weariness. Just continuing on with life and the things that produced the weariness in the first place, does not bring any change and will likely just continue to cause more weariness.
Though life may be difficult, Jesus does give some specific advice for those that are feeling weary. Matthew 9:36 tells us that when Jesus “saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” The people were weary because they had no shepherd.
Reading in the first verses of the 23 Psalm we see the results of having the Lord as our Shepherd. We are told that when the lord is our Shepherd then:
- We shall not want – Vs 1
- He makes us to lie down in green pastures – Vs 2
- He leads us beside the still waters – Vs 2
- He restores our soul – Vs 3
- He leads us in the paths of righteousness – Vs 3
These are just some of the wonderful promises that declare what happens when we have the Lord as our Shepherd. But what does it mean to have the Lord as our Shepherd? For one thing it is more than just making a declaration in your mind or with your mouth that you made the Lord your Shepherd. You see in Biblical times villagers could tell which sheep belonged to which shepherd by the amount of time that the sheep spent with the shepherd. The shepherd was always close to the sheep that were his and the sheep were always close to their shepherd. This was a given fact, there was a closeness between the sheep and the shepherd.
Though people may say that they have made Jesus Christ, the great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), their shepherd, the proof of that statement would be seen by whether the individual is actually close to their shepherd. In straight talk, these benefits of having the Lord as your Shepherd only come about when you are close to Him. Because that proves that He really is your shepherd.
In times of weariness, look over these promises that God gives for those who make the Lord their shepherd. Then draw even closer to Him through prayer, meditation, reading the scriptures and worship, so He may refresh you and restore your weary soul.