Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Revelation of the Simple Life (Part 1)

Are you feeling a little weary and burdened lately, or is it just me? I certainly wouldn’t wish those feelings on anyone, but I’m sure I’m not alone in experiencing them. What are we to do when we find ourselves caught in that trap of busyness and exhaustion? The answer is in God’s Word.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)

That sounds all nice and easy, but for we women, it's not. Why?

You know, I have found that most all women have two major flaws; Especially Christian women:
1) We worry about everybody.
2) We attempt to meet the needs of everyone around us.

Actually, those are not flaws. They are gifts. God created us to be nurturers. After all, we are wives, mothers, sisters and daughters. We are supposed to be caring and loving and eager to give of ourselves. Although those are wonderful characteristics to have, we often tend to go overboard in demonstrating them.

If you know me personally, or are a regular reader of my blog, you are aware that I was recently hospitalized due to my high levels of stress. My husband and I thought I might have been having a heart attack, so we headed to the emergency room. After spending the night in the hospital and going through a plethora of tests, my symptoms turned out to be a direct result of excessive stress.

That experience was a loud , spirit-jolting alarm to me. We are not wired to live our daily lives to the point of sheer exhaustion. God has revealed to me that He has never expected me to do all the things I have placed on my to-do list. He promises rest to those He loves. His burden is light! I have weighed myself down. It is not my job to be all things to all people. That is His role. I am stepping into His domain when I try to fill every need around me. True, we are His hands and His feet, but we can’t do it all.

Just because something is good and worthwhile does not mean we must do it. Sometimes we thrive on the validation we receive by trying to take care of everyone. We think we are somehow more respected by and considered more valuable to others when we can be their lifeline and support system. We do not have to protect everybody all the time. When we overload our schedule, we miss out on some of the most important things that God has called us to do.

God has said to us, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1 NIV)

Why do we enslave ourselves with busyness? I am tired of being burdened. I am so ready to follow only where God leads me. No more following my own path of righteousness. Too many important times have slipped by me because of my trying to do it all. I have even unintentionally pushed my own family aside to accomplish other goals. I am so glad God has opened my eyes! I am finally on the path to simplicity and I am going to share my discoveries with you over the next few days, maybe even weeks! God is revealing new things to me every day on this topic and I am studying it intensively. It may take a while! I hope you will glean as much insight as I have.

“This is love for God; to obey His commands, and His commands are not burdensome. For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” (1 John 5:3-5 NIV)

I have faith that God will show me exactly what He requires of me on a daily basis. I do know it will not weigh me down. I now realize I am out of His will if I feel overwhelmed.

Proverbs 12:25 tell us, “An anxious heart weighs a man down….”

An anxious heart is not a heart filled with the things of God. It is not a heart that I want to possess. I desire rest for my soul and time to sit at the feet of my Savior. How about you?

Love and Blessings,


Kathy S. said...

Wonderful words of wisdom, Starr!! Isn't it beautiful how God turns our dry places into streams of living water? Your "wake up call" turned into a wonderful teaching that so many women can be encouraged by.

God bless it as you continue on the journey!

Kay Martin said...

I have had 2 older women mentors that have helped me with this revelation. I recall one of them sounding like a broken record, "Rest .... Kay, rest." The other one would continually question me when I was exhausted if I knew which activity God called me to do and which ones were my ideas. Through a couple of years these holy wise women helped me ask Father God every time someone asks me for help or I see someone in need.

I probably do more that is effective now that I seek leading of Holy Spirit instead of relying on my own mercy.

Your crash into the wall may be one of the greatest lessons that will lengthen your life and keep you constantly asking God if He is calling you to each mission of mercy. One of my ouch moments with these women is that both of them reminded me to pray for the one anointed for assigments that Gdo did not lead me to.

So I can see someone in need and pray fervently for them. But I don't rush to address their need. I pray and God always shows me if there is anything He has assigned me to do to help them

Thank God you care!!! He will so bless you for your heart. Now He will show you what is your assignment and what is your prayer mission.

Great health and the best is yet to be!!!

Jen - Balancing beauty and bedlam said...

Jesus so pointedly says, "take My yoke upon you." We women are masters of taking everyone else's, aren't we?