When was the last time you were super tired — bone tired?
Tiredness is often more than physical. We sometimes suffer with tired minds and emotions. There is an inner kind of fatigue that can be very dangerous.
There are many stories in the Bible about the negative impact and effects of fatigue. Here’s one example:
Genesis 25:29-34 (NKJV) Now Jacob cooked a stew; and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary. And Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me with that same red stew, for I am weary.” Therefore his name was called Edom. But Jacob said, “Sell me your birthright as of this day.” And Esau said, “Look, I am about to die; so what is this birthright to me?” Then Jacob said, “Swear to me as of this day.” So he swore to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob. And Jacob gave Esau bread and stew of lentils; then he ate and drank, arose, and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright.
This is the familiar story of Esau selling his birthright to his twin brother, Jacob. In one brief moment, Esau traded his future destiny and blessings to satisfy a temporary appetite.
The story of Esau selling his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of soup starts out with a very telling statement, “…and Esau came in from the field, and he was weary…”
The Hebrew word for “weary” is “an adjective meaning faint, weary, exhausted. It describes a person becoming weak from hard work and needing nourishment; or from exhausting travels … It is used of a weary soul, or life, needing good news.” — (Complete Word Study Bible)
Weariness of spirit, soul, and body puts people in very vulnerable positions. In this situation, Esau’s weariness completely clouded his perspective, distorted his sense of values, and severely diminished his judgment. In a moment of weariness, Esau gave up a precious gift from his father. He sacrificed long-term blessings for a quick fix. His weariness sucked him into a dark hole of deception. The choice he made in this weak moment cost him one of the greatest gifts ever given to him.
Weariness can do these kinds of things to us. Tiredness can trick you into thinking strange thoughts. It can warp your perspective of what’s important. It can completely turn your priorities upside down. Fatigue will force you into a corner where foolish compromises seem to be your quick way out. A lot of great people have suffered at the merciless hands of spiritual, emotional or physical depletion.
What’s the solution for tiredness? What overcomes weariness and the potential pitfalls it longs to lead us into? Here are a few ideas:
- Recognize weariness for what it is.
Had Esau simply realized that he was tired, this awareness could have put him on notice to beware. When you’re aware, you can beware. Tune in to the inner voice of tiredness. Recognize its presence in your life. How do you know when you’re dangerously tired? What are the signs of significant fatigue in your life?
- Avoid unwise interactions and postpone important decisions.
Esau should not have talked to Jacob when he was tired! He should have been smart enough to realize that shrewd Jacob would take advantage of him in his weakened condition.
When you’re tired, avoid the interactions that can get you into trouble. Postpone important decisions until you’re rested and ready to make good ones.
- Remember that a tired mind and worn out emotions usually don’t tell you the truth.
In his weariness, Esau’s heart and mind said, “You’ve got to have some food. You’re going to starve if you don’t get it. Who cares about a birthright when you’re starving!”
A short reality check would have saved Esau from lots of pain and regrets. The truth was, he wasn’t about to starve! He was hungry, but he wasn’t starving. He could have waited for food. His tired mind and worn out emotions were lying to him. They will lie to you too!
Watch out for weariness. Don’t let it rob your blessings!