I am often asked, “How do you do it?” When people hear I am a mother of eight children, wife of seventeen years, pastor’s wife, and professor, they instantly recognize the heavy weight that each role must carry. Many will say that I have my hands full, while others will proclaim how blessed I am. Yet, the truth is many days are met with exhaustion and more expectations than time would allow. Often, when people ask how I am, the true answer is, “Lord, I am tired.”
And although your plate may look vastly different from mine, I can imagine that you also face times where life feels heavier than you can handle. I just want to let you know that you are not alone. I am courageous enough to bet that many people we see all around us may feel the stretch of life and unsure how to handle it all.
Today, I am praying that you will start to walk in rejuvenation. As I think about this topic, I am led to the popular psalm which resounds in my heart when I feel overwhelmed.
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:1-3
Within the first three verses of this passage, the Lord has shown me two reasons exhaustion has become so prevalent in my life lately, and perhaps yours too.
1. I haven’t allowed the Lord to truly shepherd me.
The first verse of Psalm 23 reminds us that the Lord is my shepherd. In this comparison found throughout the Bible, God is the shepherd and we are the sheep. Much like a shepherd, God takes full ownership of those in His care. He is the primary authority, the One who protects, and the One who guides. To be a sheep under God’s care, means to allow him all of the above. I have found it far easier to ask God to protect me and provide for me than it is to ask Him to have complete authority over my life. When I look at the world around me, I have no doubt it is the same for many others. We want the blessing of God but refuse to surrender.
My friends, this may be the reason you are tired all the time! Like a sheep who is too stubborn to stay in the pen, we wander and try to do what we feel is best. Rather than submit to the God who has our best interest at heart, we become our own God. We make plans, take jobs, get into relationships, commit to organizations, make big purchases without ever asking God if we should. From there, we find ourselves in a constant state of exhaustion trying to keep up with the mess we have created.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." James 1:5
2. I am anxious about what I have or what I feel I should have.
The second part of Psalm 23:1 is just as powerful “I lack nothing.” One thing I found is that the more I focus on what I do not have, the more anxious I feel. Yet, the truth is when we follow the Good Shepherd, he will ensure that we have all that we need. Psalm 23 serves as a reminder that when you submit to God as your shepherd, you will have your needs met. The reality is we have a false sense of what we “need.”
Matthew 6:31-33 says it best:
So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This verse makes it plain, God knows what we need and we can trust Him. I wish it was easy but as one who’s struggled to pay bills, take care of kids, and more, I can find myself overly stressed about such things. Yet, when I look back over my life, I have over a dozen testimonies of God showing up with unexpected miracles from receiving unexpected blessings from strangers, to clothes for my children, to donations towards our church plant that were unasked for. God has shown me over and over that instead of losing sleep over what I don’t have, I should pray to God for what I need. When we go to Him in prayer, He will give us peace. Many times, He will also provide the strategy. When in doubt remember, God takes care of His children.
In the words of Billy Graham, "God has promised to supply all of our needs, but He’s never promised to supply all of our greeds". Billy Graham Crusade, Pittsburgh 1993
My prayer for you today is that you make the conscious choice to submit to God in everything and that you trust His ability to provide for you. When you choose to do so, you will find that the overwhelming heaviness will start to lift off your life.
Lord, I need your help. I have struggled with restless nights, anxiety, and discouragement. Many times, my worries consume me. I pray for your peace Lord and a settled mind. Guide me as a shepherd away from things that may be causing more damage than good. Help my mind to be alert and my body to be strengthened. I repent for taking on more than what you have called me to do. Lord, I pray for rest and rejuvenation.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Ridofranz
Victoria Riollano is an author, blogger, and speaker. As a mother of seven, military spouse, Psychology professor and minister’s wife, Victoria has learned the art of balancing family and accomplishing God’s ultimate purpose for her life. Recently, Victoria released a parenting book called Warrior Mother: Equipping Your Heart to Fight for Your Family’s Faith. This book empowers mothers to find strength in trusting the Lord with their children. Ultimately, her desire is to empower women to live a life of victory, hope, and love. She believes that with Christ we can live a life that is ALWAYS winning. You can learn more about her ministry at victoryspeaks.org.
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Originally published Friday, 08 December 2023.