A few weeks back, a wonderful gentleman who has known me for the better part of my life prayed over our family in church. As he prayed for us (a not unfamiliar task, as it was his prayers—together with God’s call—that propelled us overseas), he asked the Lord that we would “be weary in not-well doing.” I am quite sure he meant to pray that we would “not be weary in well-doing,” but, well, you know…
I could not help but laugh, as there are more than a few times I have felt weary in not-well doing. Dishes are piling up and it is way past bedtime. Sunday morning finds angry children and exhausted coffee-tumbler-toting parents hunkered down in a minivan. Months of raising support see only tiny increments of percentage movement. Prayers seemingly go unanswered after late nights of whispers and tears. Who has not felt weary in not-well doing?
Reflecting on that dyslexic prayer left me feeling unsettled. I think I secretly wonder if this accidental prayer put a little hoax on me. We know—or really, we would like to think we know—that God knows the thoughts and the needs behind our prayers. Behind the mixed-up names and unspoken requests, He truly knows the soul and longings. (I actually referred to a not-so-new friend by an entirely different name during a lovely and inspired three-minute verbal dialogue between God and me, and in her fortunately forgiving presence.) Nevertheless, I think deep down inside my doubting heart, I ponder the ridiculous notion that in hearing those jumbled words, God did indeed grant the prayer: may she be weary in not-well doing.
What do I really know? I know that He says:
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.”John 14:1
“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives…” John 14:27
“Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.” John 15:4
“Apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last.” John 15:16
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9
I think we are lying to ourselves if we do not own that sometimes we do grow weary in not-well doing. It is hard to keep working when we seem to constantly fall short of our own self-imposed standards. It is hard to keep loving, keep serving, and keep trying when the fruits of that labor do not come quickly and easily.
What do we know? We know that, even up to His death, Jesus—Who may have grown very weary—did not grow weary in well-doing. Up to the end, He was inspiring us to pursue Him, to rest in Him, to find peace in Him, and to abide with Him.
I woke up weary in not-well doing this morning. Then I spent the morning with Him. He chose me—me!—to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, well past the point of expiration date.
So I rested in Him a good long while, and then I got back to work.