Exhaustion is a real thing.
“Exhaustion is real on many levels, but it’s not part of our medical lexicon,” said Dr. John Stracks, a mind-body specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Center for Integrative Medicine who treats chronic pain. “So when you hear about Muti (being prescribed rest), it seems like a spoof, which speaks to how jaded and hard-driving we are
It just seems right to tie jaded and hard-driving in the same sentence. Despite taking time for a walk last night, I am still, in every way, exhausted. Are all working mothers exhausted all the time? Are all mothers exhausted all the time? Are all mothers in American culture exhausted all the time? Are all prosecutors exhauated? Are all lawyers exhausted? Are all parents exhausted? Are all people exhausted?
So when I got up to feed baby and hour and a half before she usually wakes up, in desperation I looked to scripture, or searched the Bible app on my phone for exhaustion and found this.
When David came to the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow David, who had also been left at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, then David approached the people and greeted them. Then all the wicked and worthless men among those who went with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart.” Then David said, “You must not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us, who has kept us and delivered into our hand the band that came against us. And who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.”
1 Samuel 30:21-24 NASB
Honestly, though I vaguely remember the story, I didn’t remember the end and read with anticipation to see how the exhausted, who could no longer fight, we’re treated. Those who rested from the battle and took an easier job while exhausted were treated the same as those who were in the battle.
We don’t have to fight every battle. Exhaustion is a real thing and a reason to step away from certain battles. Note, these soldiers didn’t retire or run away, they just took a break and recovered.
Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble. Say to those with anxious heart, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; The recompense of God will come, But He will save you.” Then the eyes of the blind will be opened And the ears of the deaf will be unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, And the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness And streams in the Arabah.
Isaiah 35:3-6 NASB
In this verse, not only are we instructed to encourage the exhausted, the exhausted are lumped right in there with the blind, deaf, mute and anxious. It is a serious issue. Those who are exhausted are treated without judgement AND exhaustion is not a condition where we must remain.