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One of the most exciting aspects of life is weariness. That sounds strange, doesn't it? Yet, you heard right. One of the most exciting aspects of life is weariness. And it is strange -- to state that a "negative" can be a positive.

But life is full of negatives that can be turned into positives and weariness can be a special fount of grace.

Let us explain:

In life, the greatest accomplishments -- and, ultimately, the greatest joys -- come only after a trial of weariness. Often, intense weariness. True? It takes all the energy we have to accomplish something. This means it is worthwhile!

Think: the greatest project you've ever been involved with. Think: childbirth. Think: the toughest challenge or course. School. Jobs. Even illness. We all have our "Mount Everests." We all know the feeling of climbing and climbing and halting and catching our breath and starting again and feeling we can't go on and fearing failure but pushing upward. At the top, exhilaration!

For often, the best and longest-lasting fruits are wrought through trials that include exhaustion, disappointment, discouragement, even desperation. In a word, weariness. You wanted to give up. You won when you didn't. Consider the weariness that Lindbergh fought as he flew over the Atlantic and how, at his weariest, he was encouraged by voices from the other side. Think of the early settlers. Think about those who dug the Erie Canal by hand. Weariness usually means you are working hard; you are fighting the good fight.

It's part of the tests of life: for all of us, there are times in life when we just want to throw up our arms and say, "I can't take it anymore. I'm exhausted. I'm too tired. I can't go on! I'm weary, to the bone."

Yet, this is exactly the time to regroup, pray, rest for as long as feasible, and then forge forth; what you'll find is that grace will suddenly come to and propel you.

Look at what Jesus said: "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12: 9). Note that at His weariest point on the Cross ("Father, take this cup..."), the ground shook around Him. The last weariness is death when we release our spirits. What glory! Or go back further into Scripture: "But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint" (Isaiah 40:30-31).  Hear what He said to His disciples: "So you had not the strength to keep awake with Me one hour?"

Now, it also says in Scripture that we need to focus on what is immediately before us. Sufficient for today are the tests. Don't expend time fretting over what is farther down the road. This helps us pass the test of weariness. It's when we try to gulp in the entirety of the challenge all at once that we become intimidated, discouraged. (Yet, words again from the Bible: "Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own," Matthew 6:34.)

The Lord's grace is sufficient for any test and weariness is like a long fast. It has power. With it, we can transcend the limits of nature. Just make sure you're not bringing the hardship on yourself! The Lord never gives more than you can handle. Also, He always gives a second wind. He breathes it into us. This is the Holy Spirit.  Be prudent, yes; plan; but don't let the extent of an ordeal  overcome you.

Pray without ceasing.

Pray instead of fretting.

When you are praying you are not worrying (if you are praying from the heart). What a key to life that is.

Rest when you need to and pray always and think of possibilities, not problems. Pray throughout weariness for it is when (see Jesus in the desert) the devil comes.

Worrying solves nothing. Yet, how much energy so many of us spend doing just that? That is unnecessary weariness. Transcend it through prayer. Plan for the future but live day to day.

And remember: if you're not being made weary by something, you may need a bigger goal!

For life is a struggle -- a wondrous one -- right to the very glorious end.

[resources: Michael H. Brown's A Life of Blessings]

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[Photo top of smoke from Mount Etna by Geoff Mackley]

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