I guess it catches up to us all at some point in time - we all eventually hit the wall. Mine was last night a little after 8:00. By 9:30 I was sound asleep ... and at 5:00 this morning I still wasn't refreshed. It's now 6:30 - I'm cleaned up and feeling at least somewhat functional.
The holidays tend to be a big push for most. My Sunday started with worship (and all the prep that goes with it), followed by a dress rehearsal for Christmas Eve and then our family Christmas gathering at our home. Monday included work in the morning, a short nap in the afternoon, back at church before 3:00, hosting a Christmas gathering between services, back before 10:00 and finally homeward bound somewhere around 12:30 (and discovering the freeway was closed at Little Mack). Christmas morning was worship, home to pack up the car, drive across town to visit with Monica's mother at the nursing home, and then off to our son's in-laws for Christmas (they always graciously allow me to take a nap in the middle of it all). Wednesday was little projects at home in the morning and errand running in the afternoon. And then came 8:00 p.m.
But I am certainly not the only person who gets "walled", nor are packed schedules the only thing that walls us. Today my plan is to visit three people who spent Christmas in the hospital and a family in hospice. I know a man in our neighborhood who is currently living without utilities. The list goes on and on of people whose struggles are great. And add to that those who are mourning the death of loved ones, those who have no loved ones, and those for whom these long dark nights find their depression deepening. And this is just the local scene ... globally a billion people are hungry, millions are trafficked in slavery, and pandemic diseases are gouging entire nations.
The walls get higher and closer. The fatigue hits us like a punch from Sugar Ray. We are ready to pull the covers over our heads and never come out again.
But our God is a sneaky one. He finds a way around the tallest walls. The breeze of his Spirit finds its way into the most stifling situations. His Light brings glow to the darkest of nights. If you don't believe me, just think about how sneaky it is to come to us in the form of a tiny baby ...
So, I suggest, when you are feeling walled, remember "A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not grow faint or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth. ... Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it and spirit to those who walk in it: 'I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.'" (Isiah 42.3-7)
What are the walls that have closed in upon you in the recent past? Are there things bringing fatigue upon you this day (sometimes its even the thought of what tomorrow might bring). "Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." (Isaiah 40.30-31)
Oh, Lord, open our eyes to see that the only true walls around us are the walls of Jesus' righteousness and justice that protect us from all evil and are filled with light and life. Sneak into my weariness to refresh me. "Renew a right spirit within me ... Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you." (Psalm 51.10-13) And the dark walls, they will come tumbling down.