When We Feel Tired
Yael Eckstein | September 8, 2022
Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God. — Deuteronomy 25:17-18
Each week in synagogue, Jews read through the Torah from Genesis to Deuteronomy. The Torah portion for this week is Ki Teitzei, which means “when you go out,” from Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19.
If you’ve ever dealt with teenagers, you know that one of the most common refrains you hear from them is, “I’m tired.” It seems that this refrain is the “go-to” excuse to get out of just about everything. My response is simply to smile and tell them the truth. “Sweetie, I’ve got news for you, everyone is tired.”
I mean, it’s true, isn’t it? The only exception might be small children when they wake up in the morning, or maybe when we’re on the third day of a beach vacation. Otherwise, the bottom line is that pretty much every functioning adult who goes about their everyday business is tired.
I also like to remind my “tired” teenagers that if I suggested a fun trip or activity, they would probably suddenly not feel so tired.
There’s actually a serious point here. When we feel tired and give in to fatigue, we lose our motivation to press on, to do the difficult things that we need to do. Telling ourselves that we’re tired leads to laziness. It’s an excuse that we often hide behind when we don’t want to face the challenges that are before us.
When We Feel Tired
We see the spiritual danger of feeling tired in this week’s Torah portion. We read, “Remember what the Amalekites did to you along the way when you came out of Egypt. When you were weary and worn out, they met you on your journey and attacked all who were lagging behind; they had no fear of God.”
Moses was retelling the story of how Amalek attacked the children of Israel as they came out of Egypt, 40 years earlier. Initially, from the first verse, it seems that the main point is that we never forget what Amalek did.
But, if so, what is the point of Moses adding in that the children of Israel were “weary and worn out”? Does this fact make Amalek’s deadly attack any worse? Would the Amalekites be any less evil had they attacked when the children of Israel were not “weary and worn out”?
I think the Bible is teaching us something about our own spiritual strength and the spiritual danger of feeling tired. Amalek represents the forces of evil that attack all people of faith. When we feel tired and weary, when we lose excitement and motivation, when we don’t feel that we have the strength to go on, we are vulnerable to the attack of the enemy.
The antidote to being vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks is to put aside our tiredness, ask God for His strength, and persevere.
Face the challenges that God has put before you. Remember that when you put in the effort, He will give you the strength to prevail.