Of all the songs I’ve written, “Tired of Trying” would win the award for most misunderstood song. In fact, after I wrote the original draft of the song and let my wife see it, she told me that the song was too negative and I needed to insert something positive so people wouldn’t feel that it was a song about giving up. This was a good bit of advice and I did rework the chorus a little and add the second bridge as a result, but at the core of this song there IS a feeling of defeat and giving up that I was trying to communicate.
God has made no provision for us to live the Christian life ourselves. Christ is to live through us. As Paul writes in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” But I forget that a lot of the time and I try to do everything under my own power. We don’t work for Jesus as if He is our boss and we are putting in 60 hour weeks – Jesus works through us.
But even armed with the knowledge of this truth, how do we put it into practice? I had just finished reading Chapter 6 in Francis Chan’s book, “Crazy Love,” where he made the point that we can’t even love God without God calling us to Himself and giving us the capacity to love. Now, that’s pretty deep stuff, but can’t you see how it flies in the face of this idea we get that we have to somehow earn God’s love by doing all of these good works? But what a freedom comes when we understand that all we have to do is focus on God and let Him do the work. If my life is strictly about loving God more and more, then the things of this life will grow strangely dim as the old hymn says.
God, I’ve really tried this week
To be the best that I can be
But I’m worried I still didn’t do enough
And I don’t feel the joy I thought I would
For doing things you’ve said are good
Cause I worked so hard to try and earn Your love
Tired of trying, tired of falling flat on my face
Tired of trying to prove my love or repay Your grace
Cause this fear and this guilt are sad motivation
When what You want is for me to love You more
But even that I can’t do without You breaking through
Tired of trying, Lord, change my heart.
Running hard as I can go on
The hamster wheel of obligation
Can’t anybody see this is killing me
But I don’t know what right I have to pout
Lord, change me from the inside out
When the focus is on You then I’ll be free
God, I can’t, but You can, how I long for Your hand
To draw me back to sit at Your precious feet
Instead of looking at all that I’m looking to do
I need to turn my eyes back to You
Lord, I want to love you more
Help me love you more
Restore the joy of my salvation
Help me to love you more