Today many people have reached their point of exhaustion.
Exhaustion comes when energy fails. When I ran the Marine Corps Marathon, I reached the point of exhaustion on crossing the 14th Street Bridge (mile 24) and reached up to wipe my forehead and found only salt crystals—I freaked out and did not quit only because of the support of another runner. Exhaustion is the point when failure seems inevitable, like when the freezing person suddenly desires only to go to sleep. When you reach the point of exhaustion, you continue only with great pain and because persistence has become a habit.
At this point, the corona virus pandemic is exhausting everyone. People are starting to do crazy things, not even aware of how crazy they are. Discarded masks can be found everywhere; businesses are opening in spite of the obvious risk; people are complaining and demonstrating and fighting. Why? No obvious reason. People are exhausted and do whatever their hearts desire without considering the consequences.
Temptation is ever present when you are exhausted because you lack the energy to resist. It is no accident that Satan tempted Jesus in the desert—40 days without food leaves one exhausted and unable to resist. Exhaustion from dieting leaves one vulnerable to the temptation to eat—ask Esau, who sold his birthright to Jacob for a pot of stew (Gen 25:30-34). Is it any wonder that the first presidential debate yesterday looked like a mud-wrestling contest? People are exhausted and doing crazy things.
When you are exhausted, the only rational thing to do is to pray.
God Almighty, Great Physician, Holy Spirit,
We praise you
for your goodness in granting us life,
which we often take for granted,
living as if tomorrow was always promised,
but knowing that it is not.
Break the power of sin over our lives—
forgive us for our presumptions,
for our neglect of giving thanks, and
for living selfishly for ourselves,
As though we were worthy.
for your eternal presence,
your healing touch, and
for sending others to comfort us in our hour of need.
Break our bondage to worthless idols—
heal our broken bodies,
our troubled spirits, and
our damaged relationships,
for your name’s sake.
In the power of your Holy Spirit,
send us doctors to offer your healing touch and
nurses to offer your comfort in lonely hours.
Grant us strength for the day;
grace for those we meet; and
peace in a troubled world
that we might rest only in you,
this day and every day.
In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.1/
1/ Taken from: Stephen W. Hiemstra. Everyday Prayers for Everyday People. 2018. Centreville: T2Pneuma Publishers LCC.