“For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.” (Jeremiah 31:25, ESV)

Worn out. Exhausted. Dead tired. Spent. Beat. Drained. Burnt-out.  There are so many ways to express that feeling of utter weariness that just overwhelms us. We’ve all been there. Exhausted and sleep-deprived with a new baby. Pressing deadlines at work. The mental exhaustion of trying to juggle too many things.

Doctors note two main types of fatigue: physical and mental. Causes can range from medical conditions to boredom, eating disorders, major life changes, and more. If we are physically or mentally exhausted (or both), it will often carry over into our spiritual life as well. That brings us to a third type of fatigue that we need to consider: spiritual weariness.

What does it mean to be spiritually weary and how does it happen? Like physical and mental fatigue, there can be several contributing factors. Let’s talk about a few.

We become weary when we try to carry the whole load alone. This may even indicate perfectionism on our part if we feel others “can’t do that as well as I can.” When God called Moses to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, it was unlike anything he had ever done before. He wore himself out every day, trying to settle all the problems people brought to him (Exodus 13). Then his father-in-law stepped in with some wise advice: delegate and share the responsibility.

What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone” (Exodus 13:17-18, ESV).

We become weary when we rely on our own strength, not His. The Lord never expects us to do everything in our own power. His strength is infinite; ours isn’t. We must allow Him to come along beside us to share that strength.

“He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 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 40:29-31, ESV)

We become weary when we don’t take time to rest. In Luke 10:40 Martha was stressed out and weary with her self-imposed busyness. She loved the Lord but was so busy doing things for Him that she didn’t find time to spend with Him. Her busyness distracted her from enjoying fellowship with Him. The Lord called Martha out on this and told her that “one thing is needful” (verse 42).

Could it be that some of our spiritual fatigue happens because we become so busy working for God that we forget to take time to rest in His presence? Psalm 23:3 very simply says, “He restores my soul.” But that restorative process only happens when we spend time in His presence.

Just as physical health requires good nutrition and times of rest, so does our spiritual health. When we feel exhausted, anxious, discouraged, forgotten by the Lord, and perhaps even question our salvation, hit the pause button. It is time to rest. Isaiah says our strength is renewed when we wait upon the Lord.

At some point along life’s journey, all of us will face times of spiritual fatigue. We can use these times to whine and fret, or we can use them to dig deeper and grow in our walk with God.  In II Corinthians 11, the apostle Paul talks about facing toil and hardship, sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, lack of food, cold, and insufficient clothing (verse 27). Paul’s weariness and the hardships he faced must have been challenging, but God replenished his spirit.

Regardless of the things life brings our way, we must never allow weariness to rob us of the joy that comes with serving the Lord. He invites you to partake of His rest.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30, ESV)

Lord, life gets tough, and I get weary. But despite the things I face, I know You will never forsake me. Help me to pause and refresh myself in Your presence. I want to lean on You and learn from You. Give me the rest that my soul needs to thrive.




Mary enjoys traveling, meeting new people, and spending time with old friends. Although directionally challenged, she would rather take the back roads with their discoveries than the boredom of the interstate.

1 Comment

  1. Barbara Atchison

    Thank you for this wonderful reminder!