If this weekend was any example of what the summer is going to be like, then I think it could be a long summer. My girls seemed to be constantly picking at each other and arguing over things. On Saturday, my oldest told me she didn't have anything to do. All I could think was "Summer hasn't even started yet, and they're bickering and bored."
It took me another 20 minutes to figure out that they weren't actually bored or argumentative. They were exhausted. You know that moment, when you look at your child and you realize you're trying to rationalize with a child who is incapable of rational thought at that moment? We had one of those this weekend.
The best response to a child who is irrational due to exhaustion is a nap -- no matter the age. Refreshing their bodies always makes a huge difference in their attitudes. After our irrational moment this weekend, I pulled my kids inside, sent the irrational one to the shower and strongly suggested she lay down. An hour later, she came to the dinner table refreshed and ready to deal with the world. She was even able to laugh at how irrational she had been.
Too often, we're no different than our kids. Exhaustion -- both in body and soul -- can make us irrational. Everything looks worse and more difficult when you're physically, mentally or emotionally exhausted. We don't make good decisions, and we often take out our frustrations on those nearest to us. I hate to admit that if I'm tired, you really don't want to be around me. I'm grumpy and , yes, often irrational.
Sometimes, I just need a nap. But, you know what? I hate taking naps. I feel like they are a waste of time. There are so many other things I could be doing with that time. Never mind that I feel better after I take one.
When we're weary of all that the world has thrown at us, God offers to give us rest and strength. Yet, too often, we try to deal with everything on our own. If we'd just stop and spend a few minutes with Him, God would fill us with the strength to sustain us through whatever comes our way. Isaiah 50:4 says "The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary."
God's word offers us strength in times when we are weak. It offers refreshment in moments when we don't think we can take another step. Yet, too often, we skip our time with God because there are other things that need to be done. We choose not to be refreshed by His word just like I often choose not to take a nap.
We need God's sustaining power, and the only way to get it is to spend time reading His word. As you memorize this verse this week, emphasize with your kids that God's word is like a nap. It refreshes us and gives us strength, especially in moments when we are tired and don't think we can take another step. God's word builds us up so we can face whatever comes our way.
Figure out how you're going to fit reading God's word into your day and help your kids find a time in their day to set aside to read God's word. If your children are small, find a time in the day when you read God's word together. Even the youngest children can be refreshed by hearing God's word. Make it a priority to find refreshment and sustenance in God's word every day.