I was going to write about a completely different topic, but this week has...well...stunk. I had a dream the other night that I was treading water in the middle of a dark ocean with waves and whitecaps breaking all around me and in the midst of it all, other people (lots of people) kept grabbing onto me to keep themselves from drowning and all the while I was getting sucked under.
Today, with much on my mind, I drove down the road and saw a bunch of black crows picking away at road kill along the side of the road. It was weird; I could identify with that poor rodent being picked apart by vultures until there was literally nothing left.
I even wore my t-shirt that says on the front, "Walk, Bike, Run" (with cute little stick figures) and on the back it says, " I can do all things through Christ Jesus who Strengthens Me." (Philippians 4:13). This is all kind of ironic because with my foot in a majorly clunky boot after surgery, I can do none of those things. Do I get credit for thinking positive?
All this to say, "Do you ever feel like the world picks away at you until you have nothing else to give?" I do. After a week of give, give giving and take, take, taking (taking on others burdens) I had to re-evaluate to whom I was giving and then where was I placing the burdens that I was being given.
First, God did not design me to take on every body else's burdens. I tend to be a caring and compassionate person, but sometimes that means that I take on too much. Things I'm not meant to take on. That's God's job and here I am jumping in to do His job.
Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved. (Psalm 55:22)
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29)
"He stands fast as your rock, steadfast as your safeguard, sleepless as your watcher, valiant as your champion." (C.H. Spurgeon)
It was obvious to me where I needed to place my burdens and those that had somehow been passed to me...where they belong...in the Lord's hands.
I also needed to re-evaluate my priorities. I was scrolling on facebook the other day and I came upon a pretty picture post that said, "No matter what, my children will always come first." There were lots of "likes" for this tidbit of wisdom. But, under my breath I whispered, No, No, No you've got it all wrong.
This, too, is also ironic because often I act as though my children do come first.
Don't get me wrong, I dearly love my children, but the facebook hierarchy is not God's plan. His looks more like: JOY...Jesus, Others, You. Jesus and God, of course, come first. Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you...we know this.
Second comes others, but in a special order. Spouse first before children. Then family then others. This is highlighted for me...my spouse comes before my children. Period. When I buy into the voices yelling me, me, me the whole canoe gets wobbly and we end up in the drink. Loved ones, love your loved one and place him/her in the place that God has designated in order for things to flow properly.
Then comes You. In todays society usually the You last looks like the road kill I mentioned above. Just because you come third doesn't mean that you drain yourself for the sake of others. God is love. He expects you to share His love with others, but He does not intend for you not to keep some for yourself.
I love my husband because at the beginning of each day he asks me, "What are you going to do nice for yourself today?" What a great question to be asked!! I am so blessed by this man. I'm also not used to being asked that question yet, but I'm getting better. So I ask you, "What are you going to do nice for yourself today?" And your answer is: _____________________________.
I hope that it includes drinking in His word. His scripture is life giving water and too often I go thirsty. I hope that it includes doing something you love...read, go for a walk, dig in your garden, knit, paint, take a nap.
I'll end my ramblings here with a quote that I love...it reminds me where I need to go when I feel like I'm drowning.
"God wants to reveal Himself as your Heavenly Father. When you are hurting, you can run to Him and crawl up into His lap. When you wonder which way to turn, you can grasp His strong hand, and He'll guide you along life's path. When everything around you is falling apart, you'll feel your Father's arm around your shoulder to hold you together. (Lisa Welchel)
Friend, God does see when you are drowning. He is the God that Sees You. He loves you, treasures you, delights over you with singing. He does not want to see you picked to the bone. Just because His love and His word fill us up, doesn't mean we need to pour it all out and keep none of this life-giving water for ourselves. He wants abundance for you (and for me). Treat yourself like the treasure that you are...
In His love,