Tired Am I
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
From a bed surrounded by tubes and beeping monitors and the smell of hospital, came the soft singing of the words, “Muede bin ich, geh zu Ruh.”
She had learned the German hymn when her mother used to tuck her in at night. She had often sung the words as a child lying in her small bed. Now on her deathbed, the words had fuller meaning.
“Tired am I. I’m going to rest…” That’s an English translation. When night brought an end to her childhood days, all the running and playing had worn out her body. She wanted to go to sleep. Her mother might have left her side with the words, “Sweet dreams!”
Her mother is not there in the hospital room. Those who now hover over her may be doing their best to keep her going. She has a different desire: “Tired am I.” she sings. “I’m going to rest.”
A night’s sleep will not help. It’s not just her muscles that are tired. It’s her whole being. She is worn out from life in this world. She is looking forward to rest that never ends.
We may not be a small child, and we may not be on our deathbed. But we can relate to feeling worn out. Sometimes it is physically. At times the heavy load strapped to our back can wear us down. But many times the load is in us instead of on us. It’s the burdens we carry around in our hearts and minds that are the heaviest ones.
We worry. We regret. We carry painful memories. We weigh ourselves down with self-made problems, and strain under the burdens that others have put onto our shoulders. An Army captain lamented that his latest tour in Afghanistan was like living in the movie Groundhog Day. When we must face the same stressful routine over and over, we grow weary.
Our conscience might add to the load. We start feeling our failings. We groan at the prospect of having to fight another round against sin and Satan.
“Tired am I.” At times we know that feeling. We want a break. We long for rest.
So these words of Jesus take on special meaning. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
He picks up our burdens with his strong hand. He replaces them with hope and joy, and gives the promise of peace. He wipes away everything that is wrong.
It makes us wonder how long has it been since we slept like a baby. How good it would be to have Someone else carry the load that rests upon our heart!
To our lament, “Tired am I!” Jesus says, “I know. Let me give you rest.”
The invitation is there for us every day of our lives—and for the last day of our life.
We might want to close some days with the English version of that old hymn:
“Now the light has gone away; Father listen while I pray.
Asking you to watch and keep And to send me quiet sleep.
Jesus, Savior, wash away All that I’ve done wrong today.
Make me evermore like you, Good and gentle, kind and true.” Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military