“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” — Matthew 11:28-30

Christ is looking for the weary and the burdened. He’s looking for the tired.

He’s looking for us to be the right kind of tired. I remember my summers at camp during my college days. I would get done with the college semester exhausted. Long nights, lots of caffeine, little sleep, bad food, reading, typing, and sitting. It was exhausting. But then, I would go to camp.

I remember that our days would start as the sun rose and we would be watching children until late. My days were full of canoeing and swimming, full of silly games and Bible study, full of walking miles and miles and miles through the woods and making breakfast, lunch and dinner over the fire.

It was exhausting but of a different kind. Not so much of late nights and caffeine but full days and tasks well done. Not so much of writing papers and taking tests, but the questions of campers dealing with real life.

And I tell you that to tell you this: it seems in our American context, as we walk through life, we will all be exhausted and tired, but it seems that it’s easy to be the wrong kind of tired. Tired from working too many hours, too tired to take time for our Savior. Tired from keeping up our image, too tired to cultivate real relationships. Tired from consuming our media, too tired to listen well to what our neighbor is saying. Tired of defending our honor, too tired to confess our sins.

I would invite you to be the good kind of tired. Be exhausted, exhausted because of how difficult and rewarding it is to love others in their lives, and how much struggle it takes to love them well. Be frustrated, frustrated because of the honest struggle and care you have for the people in your life that you know are in God’s hand even when they don’t do what you told them to do. Be tired and worn out and weak. Be hungry and thirsty for righteousness.

Come the right kind of tired, because as often as you come, you receive the right kind of strength. It’s not a strength of muscle, or a strength of mind. It’s not a strength of individualism, or a strength of solidarity. It’s the strength that a Savior, looking down the barrel of his betrayal, crucifixion and death. It’s a strength that emptied itself to the point of death, even death on a cross. It’s a strength that was exalted to the highest places, so that every knee will bow and tongue confess. It’s the strength that only our Savior can give.

Paul Muther is associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Janesville.

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