I recently heard the term ‘quarantine exhaustion.’
YES! That’s me.
I am tired. Weary from all the changes and confusions in life. Drained from dealing with loss, anger, boredom, depression, fear. Worn-out from having to think and make weird decisions and not knowing what to do.
I have felt fatigue of emotion many times in my life. I can get weary and down with the suffering in the world. But there is something uniquely hard about these days.
I feel like I am treading water, muddy water, trying to keep my head up, while going nowhere.
Sometimes I feel exhausted physically and mentally and emotionally and spiritually.
I need Someone to save me.
I woke up this morning remembering a time of weakness and grief, a night when I was weeping on a bed in a hotel room, alone and exhausted and Someone did help me.
I may have written this story before.
Forgive me, if that is so, even though I do not deserve your forbearance. When I was younger I had little patience with forgetfulness and repetitions in conversations with older people. But now of course I am the one repeating, and I beg your grace.
(Confessing this makes me strangely love Jesus more, reminding me of His constant and extensive grace, past, present, and future. But let’s go back to that hotel room.)
That day I had traveled from Cochabamba to Santa Cruz with Daughter #3, her wedding dress in her suitcase.
She was going to Spain, I was going to Texas.
Her flight was in the afternoon, mine was the next morning.
I would send her off, knowing the next time I saw her would be at her wedding.
I think I held it together at the airport, but I started crying in the taxi and when I got to the privacy of my hotel room, I let loose. It was our last visit, our last time of having her to ourselves, in our home in Bolivia, our dearly loved daughter. Life with her nearby to us was over and it was painful to let her go.
I wept dramatically.
(For the record, I had moments of hard crying related to each of my daughter’s homeleaving.)
Have you ever wept ‘dramatically’? It is not pretty.
Looking for a Kleenex, I saw my Bible, and something fell out when I picked it up.
It was a song sheet from the church bulletin from our home church in Montreat.
A dear lady named Mrs. Soos faithfully sent us the bulletins with her simple “Love, Helen Soos” written on the top.
(Hers is an inspiring story I wish I could tell you, how she kept her faith through WWII as a young woman in occupied Poland, but I digress again.)
The song on the sheet was “I Must Tell Jesus.”
So I did.
I must tell Jesus all of my trials,
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me,
He ever loves and cares for His own.
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear my burdens alone;
I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.
I told Jesus all about my sorrow. My distress. My loneliness. My weary-of-this-world-grief.
And He came with His love and comfort and peace, and I slept.
I am grateful to remember that moment this morning, as my thoughts and emotions were threatening to exhaust me even before I got out of bed.
Because I must keep treading these waters and I can keep telling Jesus.
Jesus listens. Jesus cares.
“Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.”
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
I was curious about the history of that song. You might be, too, so here you are:
Elisha Hoffman, 1839-1929, wrote over 2,000 hymns. He was a minister, who had a special heart for the poor. One day he visited one of his church members and found the mother in financial distress and mental anguish.
He tried consoling her with verses from the Bible, but she seemed unable to rise above her sorrow. He then told her, “You must tell Jesus,” and a light crossed her face as she cried, “Yes! I must tell Jesus.”
After a time of prayer, she rose from her knees with the brightness still in her face.
Hoffman left immediately and “under the influence of that experience,” he wrote the hymn, I Must Tell Jesus.