Some days I feel like I’m fading fast. I just sent a text to my friend that said, “I know I need to give something up. Something has to give, but what?
Ever feel like that? Some of you nod and whisper, “Every day.”
The reality is that we are fading. We can’t do everything. We can only charge ahead at 100% for so long. We will absolutely burn out. Even with the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us, we were created for rest, just as we were created for work.
Part of my problem, and I’m guessing this resonates with many of you, is that I’m trying to keep it all together for so many people. I think I’m the glue that holds our life together and if I fall apart, or even if I take a nap, who in the world will keep everyone standing? (And seriously, if I do take a nap living room armageddon does appear to take place.)
No? No? Just me. 😉 We’ll here’s a devotion for myself then…
There is a difference between being all things to all people, and believing people need me to be all things to them.
The first, is living in hope, being willing to share hope, to share the way God has worked in my life in the opportunities He gives me. The second, is believing that if I don’t do it, He can’t. He can’t use someone else. He needs me. Oh girls, He uses me. But He surely doesn’t need me.
Why am I so busy trying to be God?
It’s important for me to understand that clay fades. I am dispensable. I would be missed, but I’m not the only one He can use.
Let’s read Isaiah 40:18-24 to get a better handle on this.
To whom then will you liken God,
or what likeness compare with him?
19 An idol! A craftsman casts it,
and a goldsmith overlays it with gold
and casts for it silver chains.
20 He who is too impoverished for an offering
chooses wood that will not rot;
he seeks out a skillful craftsman
to set up an idol that will not move.
21 Do you not know? Do you not hear?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth?
22 It is he who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;
who stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
and spreads them like a tent to dwell in;
23 who brings princes to nothing,
and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth,
when he blows on them, and they wither,
and the tempest carries them off like stubble.
Building idols…we make an idol of ourselves when we think we are so very necessary to everyone’s existence. We puff ourselves up, in a way. “What would they do without me? Aren’t I so busy and important? This place would fall apart without me.”
Deep down we are afraid to fade.
We are afraid that we won’t have a legacy, we won’t be remembered, we won’t matter.
Without intending to, we build idols of wood and peeling gold by trying to be everything for our homes, our families, our employers, our churches, our friends.
God would never have us forsake a relationship, a commitment, but the question becomes –
What is at the center?
How do we put our children at the center instead of God?
How do we put our marriages and our spouses at the center instead of God?
How do we put our homes and our household chores at the center instead of God?
How do we put our vocations, our successes at the center instead of God?
How do we put our sports teams and our hobbies and our interests at the center instead of God?
These are all things we literally “build” our life around. Isaiah 40:24 tells us –
Scarcely are they planted…
Scarcely are they sown…
Scarcely has their stem taken root…
when they wither,
they are carried off.
The world gives pressure. It says, “hold it together, hold everything standing tall, upright, firmly rooted.” We know it’s not sustainable. We can feel it slipping from our grasp.
Because clay fades.
That is what it does. We only last so long here on this earth and we were never meant to hold everything together, only God was.
So, when you need a moment. Take a moment. Turn it to Him.
Worship Him. Tell Him, “You know I can’t do this, Lord. Only you can hold it all together. Only You. I am Clay.”
I am Clay. I can’t do it all. Only you can, Lord.
Take this burden, Lord. Take it.
And Jesus promises that He does. Remind yourself of His comfort in Matthew 11:28-30.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
He holds all of it. He holds our life and our children, our homes and our jobs, our health, all of it in His hands. He hands us an easier yoke, a Salvation-shaped yoke of peace and joy and forgiveness and love unending.
I am clay. I can’t do it all. Only you can, Lord.
So, if you find yourself, sitting like me…spent, tired, wondering what’s going to give…print this off. Put it somewhere prominent. Share it with a friend who could use it. Share the struggle of the journey together. When you see it, remind yourself of the truth found in Isaiah 40:28 –
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
I am clay. Only you, Lord. Only you.
What kinds of things lead you to the end of your rope? Your job, cleaning, cooking, family drama, etc?
What is your favorite way to turn things over to God? Do you have a favorite prayer or song, verse, or refrain that helps you place the burdens of life back on Your Savior?