I have a friend who used to say “I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired!” I often echoed this saying. Life just seemed hard, tiring, burdensome. I was finding life monotonous and often felt joyless and weary to my bones. Thought Conditioner number 4 is exactly what I need at times when I am feeling “sick and tired.”
Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
This passage of scripture has been helpful for me. Dr. Peale suggested letting these words dissolve like a spiritual lozenge and I have tried to do that. When work piles up and I feel like I will never be able to complete it, I let these words seep down into my nervous system and help me relax. When I am worn out and it seems that I don’t even have enough energy to drag myself through the day, I allow these words to become an elixir that soothes my weariness. When I repeat these words to myself, they are like a spiritual lozenge. They help me relax and feel less stressed. They help me to feel less alone. They help me to get beyond my tiredness. They offer me hope that there will be an end to weariness, to the daily grind, to simply surviving.
I will give you rest. When I am discouraged about my vision loss, this is the sweetest promise I can hear. It promises that I do not have to be “sick and tired.” It promises that I do not have to do everything on my own. It promises that I can relax and trust and lighten up.
For me, this is a Thought Conditioner that did not have immediate results. I used to force myself to say it when I was stressed, and I would often say the words to myself with my teeth clenched and my jaw muscles tight. I actually would say the scripture and then ask “When?” Finally, all these years after John and I memorized the Thought Conditioners one Lent, I realize that this “spiritual lozenge” has done its work. Now, when I am feeling burdened or stressed or tired, I repeat the words in my mind – Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – and I can feel myself relaxing immediately.
As I am writing this post, I am trying to remember the last time I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired.” I have not said it in a long time. I have not felt it in a long time. I hadn’t realized, until today, how wonderful it is to be free of this depressing attitude. Some of my change in attitude has come from the joy of deliberately trying to find the grace in every situation. And some of my change comes from letting this sentence of scripture seep into my subconscious mind and become part of me. I will give you rest. It is a promise that has changed my life.