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,