Click, Click, Click!

My good friend sent me a note this week. He’s in what he says are the darkest days of his life. Then he quoted Abe Lincoln, who confided to a friend, “I’ve got weary that rest can’t reach.”

I know a little of how he feels, having gone through a similar stretch. It came on me unawares, like a mist descending at day’s end, only the next day it didn’t burn off, only grew more opaque. I fought it, but finally gave up, succumbing to the referee’s standing ten count, my gloves too heavy to lift. That’s when I went into maintenance mode, hitting ministry expectations, but that’s all. Smiling bravely for staff, or students, but at home sitting in front of the TV. “What are you watching, honey?” Ginnette was patient. I would grunt, because I wasn’t watching anything, just staring into oblivion; ‘click, click, click.’ What caused this spiral, this deepening of dark? I don’t know. All I know is that my theology of pain, where trials fit and how God uses tough times to build character were all cliché’s I summarily fired from my world view. I’m not saying I stopped believing them, they just didn’t help me crawl out of the hole I found myself in.

None of us are immune to darkness, and perhaps as you read this you can relate, at least on some level to a time when the shades went down. Jesus can. He not only hung on the cross, suffering physical pain and emotional abuse, but a suffocating darkness enshrouded him. “My God, my God why have you forsaken me?” I imagine the earth itself trembled under that soul-rending cry. But note Whom He addressed. Too often as ‘weary’ tightens its grip we turn to others for perspective, and not the Author of hope. For me it was a wake up call. Did I believe God stood by me in darkness, as he did in the light of day? I’m not saying that was the answer, but it did point me in it’s direction, the direction of prayer. Several years later I needed that lesson.

It was 1990, working at a new high school in San Diego. God raised up a large group of freshmen students eager to grow in faith. I poured all I had into them, then tried to convince them to attend a conference at year’s end. I fought that fight right up to the morning we boarded the bus, and to my dismay not one of those rascals showed up. It’s not that I hadn’t ever worked with no results before, but something about my expectations, and their lack of interest siphoned my energy, literally gutted me. I felt weary, with no prospect of rest, since I was leading the conference, and had to perform with or without the unction needed to minister in the spirit. I lasted four days, until during an afternoon of recreation I went back to my dorm room, and knelt down on a stone tile floor. “God, I can’t go another hour, I’m done.” That was noon. It’s difficult to describe what happened next. Brennan Manning, in his Memoirs, ‘All Is Grace,’ calls a similar moment a ‘golden world’ experience. Time ceased to register, and I have no memory, except for when God broke the silence, and shouted an inaudible message, which lifted my chin. That’s when to my amazement I read 6pm on the wall clock. Where had six hours gone? I didn’t know, but I didn’t care. In a split second weary vanished, and I rose, nearly ran to dinner.

Psalm 63 states, “my soul clings to you, your right arm upholds me.” What I needed on that tile floor was a set of arms strong enough to lift me. Prayer helps us transfer whatever strength remains in us, into that right arm of His. Our humanness expressed in whatever emotion we choose, is absorbed by that power, and just as in the case of Jesus, He turns our hearts toward the direction of greater intimacy.

Can you relate to weary that rest can’t reach? Tell us about it.

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9 Comments Add yours

  1. Mike Evans says:

    I remember those rascals, Kevin. Just saw some of them last summer on vacation in SoCal. Shannon is a godly Esco Police officer, married w two kiddos, Tyler is principal of Light and Life School there and a robust Christ-follower, also married w two, Chris is a Christian attorney married to a great SP girl an they have 3 kids, James is getting his life together and things are looking up for him, Kevin H is a youth pastor w a great wife and four kids in Kansas,…there are more stories than that to tell. You know this, but cling as I do to 1 Corinthians 15:58 my friend.
    Press on,
    Mike Evans

    1. kevinjyoung says:

      Mike,
      Thanks for sharing this very interesting insight on those guys. God knew they needed your living letter to stamp them and lead them toward Him. The grace of God always takes my breath away.
      Please greet Wendy. Still one of my favorite all time days is your wedding! So excited when I hear snippets of how God is using you in the lives of those you touch.
      Blessings,
      Kevin

  2. Michelle Beckman says:

    Kevin, thank you thank you for sharing. This ministered to my soul! It also gave me a window into some of the things you have alluded to in our conversations. I’m there in this weariness that can’t find rest. Have been ever since coming off the mountain and entering the world again. It drives me to meet with Him daily.

    1. Kevin Young says:

      Michelle, Thanks, and I wish we all had that fever you so obviously have to be in union with Him. You inspire so many!

      Kevin J. Young

      Cru. NYC Kevin.Young@Cru.org

      Blog: http://kevinjyoung.com 347-231-4796

  3. Ken Vensel says:

    I am there now…..

    1. kevinjyoung says:

      Ken,
      We love you brother. Thanks for your honesty. Will pray as God ministers His grace and mercy.
      kevin

  4. Kirstin says:

    Kevin, I love your words dripping with vulnerability and insight. I continue to say you are one of my favorite people to others in my life. I am so glad you are writing your thoughts for us all to hear and be blessed by. Such a beautiful description of turning to the Author of our story when all feels bleak and dark. Thank you so much for your wisdom and allowing us to venture with you on your journey.

  5. Thank you for this post, Kevin! We’ve been in a long, lonely dark weariness for a while now. Last summer I read Pilgrim’s Progress again and identified with Christian walking through the dangerous Valley of the Shadow of Death, where the darkness was so thick that each time he picked up his foot he had no idea where it would land. It sounds dramatic, but it feels like just getting through each day with nothing left over. Instead of TV, there is the Internet, a ready substitute for the weary. Click, click, click. The blessing is that the light is dawning over the valley, or if it hasn’t yet it will soon and the way through our transitions and daily life is gradually feeling clearer. Blessed be the Lord, we are never alone.

    1. kevinjyoung says:

      Laura,
      Thanks for your beautiful thoughts on the dark times we all face. Please give that man of yours a big hug from me! Amen, never alone!

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