One of the first things I realized as summer began was just how tired I was from the semester. If you’re a college student or have ever been one, I’m sure you know all too well the struggles of every end-of-semester work blitz. When the papers were submitted, exams were taken and the dust had settled, I took a big sigh. And it wasn’t one just of relief.
If you’re like me, you’ve sat down at your desk or on your couch and fought to open your bible. You’ve prayed that God would implant inside of you a desire to read His words. But there are times that he doesn’t. If you’re really like me, you’ve even grown into further frustration and anger when upon finishing ‘bible time’, the voice of doubt exclaims, “THAT WAS A WASTE OF TIME!”
You fight to hear and bask in the quiet but sure voice of truth that says plainly, “No, it wasn’t.”
There are hard times in this walk with God. But I’m not talking about going home to witness to an unbelieving family, or being ostracized at work for reading the bible during lunch, or dealing with the loss of your best friend, or losing your job, or being stricken with malaria the night before you have to preach. Don’t get me wrong, these are hard times and I’m sure you’re bound to run into one or two along the way.
But I’m talking about your heart, not your circumstance. There will be times, if there haven’t already, when your own brokenness makes your walk hard, not just the brokenness around you.
When Paul was in Macedonia talking to the guys in the church, there was one in particular that I can relate to right now. His name was Eutychus– he was a “young man” listening in on one of Paul’s talks.
“Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. And… Eutychus, sitting on the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead.”
See, Eutychus is in a very similar situation. He’s tired, but his presence in the room shows that he wants to engage. Remember, him listening to Paul is pretty much the same as us reading the bible– Eutychus is just cutting out the middle man.
So, limited by his broken flesh, he just can’t stay awake. He’s tired. It’s been a long day. As he nods off he falls out of the window and everyone thinks he’s dead.
But Eutychus isn’t dead, and neither are you if you’re tired and have fallen. This is not an excuse to sin, but an encouragement that we are human and that what we have to look forward to is the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23) If you’re not tired now, if you’re not weary from fighting this battle, then you will be. And when that happens, remember that you’re in a sinful body of wretchedness that will always act as a noose as long as you’re inside of it. The point of thinking about this is two-fold: One is that it puts into perspective what Jesus has done. He conquered the desires of the flesh to sin, and to sleep, and to indulge, where we can’t. Two, it reminds us of just how much we need Jesus… that salvation is in faith in HIS work on the cross and HIS righteousness– not our own (as if we could accomplish it ourselves!).
Everyone thought Eutychus was dead. Heck, Eutychus himself probably thought he was dead. But what turned it around was this:
“But Paul went down and bent over him, and taking him in his arms, said, ‘Do not be alarmed, for his life is in him.’” (Acts 20:10)
It wasn’t a scolding that revived him, it wasn’t him getting frustrated at himself, it wasn’t anything that Eutychus himself did to stand up after having fallen down. It was the embrace of Paul, as he took him into his arms and imparted the love of Christ himself to Eutychus. This is an eloquent way of saying that you need a hug from someone else who loves Jesus, and for them to tell you, “You’re alright kid. There’s life in you yet.”
Jesus does this the best himself, but sometimes he uses other people like Paul to send the message. Someone to comfort and to encourage. Someone to pick you back up and dust off your shirt. I pray that God would put someone in your life like this if there is not.
If you’re tired right now, just keep trucking, keep running. You know the drill.
You’re alright kid. There’s life in you yet.