When We’ve Got the Wearies

My Granny was from the Ozarks. She’d tell you she was a hillbilly with pride. She had a wonderful way of talking and was an excellent storyteller. I treasure many delightful stories she wrote in letters to me as a child. She’d say ‘you-ns’ and ‘git,’ made strong sweet tea, and churned her own butter. My Grandad was a small dairy farmer as well as the founding pastor of a small country church in rural Missouri. (He also drove a school bus. I guess not much has changed for bi-vocational pastors over the last 60 years!)

One of the phrases that I remember my Granny using, I find myself repeating more and more. When responding to the question, “How are you?” she’d sometimes say, “I’ve got the wearies.” You can check the Internet for hours, but you will not find the definition of the word wearies as a noun.

Even as a child, I understood what Granny meant. Life had just tuckered her out. She was tired – physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. The long list of things to do, to think about, to decide, to care for, to talk about, to take here, to move there, to mix, to bake, to clean, to feed, to milk, to write, to weed, to plant, to wash, to carry . . . they were the wearies and she felt that weariness to her bones. 

I thought Granny was old, but she was only 42 when I was born. Young for a Granny! But life knows no respecter of persons when it comes to the wearies. And life has been pretty evenly wearisome this year for all of us, hasn’t it? I expect most of us are feeling exhausted to our bones these days. Sure, life slowed down for a minute or two when we were told to stay home, but that just meant we got busy doing all those things we haven’t had time to do! Life may have slowed, the world may have slowed, but we didn’t.

In fact, we added more to our plate. For example, pastors had to do everything they did before but added learning new technology, buying new equipment, practicing preaching to an empty church and a video camera, developing new strategies as churches reopened, and discovering new ways to stay in touch and encourage the people. I’m pretty sure pastors’ wives also had to learn some new technology as well as help develop those new ways of encouraging and keeping in touch while managing kids and watching their husbands grow exhausted – even more than normal.

So as life slowly moves toward normal, as To Do lists look more familiar, I’m thinking that we all are dealing with the wearies. Throw in the state-of-the-country and the burdens grow heavier. Quitting and moving off the grid – how many of us have thought about it with a smile on our face? Wondered if we could? Does God even see how tired we are?

Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
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 40:28-31

If you have got the wearies, remember that God is here for you. His promises never fail and you can fall back and rest in Him, gaining power and strength to scatter the wearies and continue doing good.

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About Lynnette Goebel

Lynnette is the Director of Operations at RHMA Headquarters in Morton, Illinois. She has attended the same small-town church for most of her life. She adores her pastor’s wife.