A quiet place of rest. That is what God offers us every day if we but only allow Him to do so. I admit that life can be very busy and that can create a vicious cycle of unrest. Even the business of church activities can become a problem. There needs to be a balance and that is not always easy to find.
Many people in the US, myself included, are finding themselves working more hours for less pay and struggling to keep a balance between work and play. In fact, many people find it difficult to relax and enjoy "free time" when they know they have a lot of projects and responsibilities waiting for them at the office.
But God calls us to be wise stewards of not only our finances but our time. It is good to work but not to the point of complete exhaustion. Nor is it good to ignore family or friends because you "just don't have time" to spend with them.
But then another issue arises. How does someone pay the bills, support the family, or help the church if they are not always rushing around with business? Does God not know the demands of our bosses? Can He pull through for us when we don't know if the next paycheck will cover the bills? Does God see that we get spiritually exhausted when we give too much of ourselves in ministry? Is He enough to help us find strength when we are too weary?
Deep down we all know God can do anything. We believe that He loves us and that He will take care of us but faith cannot be real until it is tested. God has told us that we are more precious than any birds of the air or the most beautiful flowers in the fields. He has promised to supply us with all our needs and God never breaks His promises.
Jeremiah 29:11 " For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
But God is not without emotions or feelings. He too wants to know that we think of Him and need Him and want Him. And many times the way He tests us is to allow life to become difficult.
Do we really believe what we think we do? Do we really live what we say we do? When the projects are due, the bills must be paid, and your family and friends need you... can you turn to God and say
" You are enough. I believe and trust in you."
Can you walk away from a job that is demanding too much of your time? Can you say no to church ministries that require your involvement to the point of emotional and spiritual exhaustion?
Now I understand that the decisions to stay or go in any type of work is not always so simple. But when we find ourselves so tired, frustrated, depressed, and unavailable to those we love most... then something has to change. Quickly.
Psalm 42:11 " Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise Him again- my Savior and my God!"
God has always helped those who feel they are without hope. Look at the story of Ruth, or Esther, or Daniel, or Joseph. They were in some very depressing situations but God didn't let them down. That's not to say they didn't go through some really difficult periods of concern. But God understands our needs even more than we do. He created us!
If there is a job that's too demanding find another one. Go on faith that God will provide a place of work just right for your current needs. Never forfeit time with family for a better paycheck. The price is too high.
If you are in ministries that pull you way from family or friends... or simply leave you drained... perhaps it would be wiser to ask God to lead you into ministries that do not leave you so tired. Trust that He will help you!
I pray that as the coming weeks and months come and go that we all open our hearts to God's word. It is truly comforting, a peaceful and calming balm to our souls. May God give each of you wisdom to know when and how to step back from duties and responsibilities so that you have more time to spend on the people and activities that are best for your life.
Psalm 31:24 " Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."