There are a few phrases in my life that I repeat often, probably more than a few. One of them is, “I am tired.” Another one is, “I’d rather poke sticks in my eyes, than ______ (fill in the blank). And yet another one, “Quit sittin’ there like a bump on a pickle, get up and _______ (fill in the blank)!” My girls, who love to embarrass their Mama, tell me that at my funeral they are going to stand in front of the whole world and just run down the list of their favorite Mama sayings. These are at the top of the list.
The one however that has recently come to be a thorn in my side is, “I am tired.” Unfortunately I hear myself say this ALL. THE. TIME. I realize that I’ve been saying it for years. I’ve been saying it since I was a teenager and I remember feeling it as a child. Why have I been so tired most of my life??? Before I answer that question I have to share with you that as the Lord has had me on this grace journey He’s used several instrumental books and teachings. One of them has been Emily Freeman’s book, “Grace for the Good Girl.” Honestly, I can’t say enough about this book. She so articulated most of my life it’s like she’s lived right with me since birth. I am so grateful to God that He gave her the words to reveal truth to me.
Back to me and being tired. As part of discovering who I am because of the grace of God, many things have become apparent. One of the overwhelming themes of my life has been a hyper-developed sense of responsibility. Not only for myself, but for everyone and everything in my life. I have allowed myself to be deceived into believing that if I didn’t do it (whatever it is, just fill in the blank) no one would and it wouldn’t get done. Or worse, someone else might try to do it and not get it right! This way of thinking has dominated every single area of life, from being a daughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, a church member, a citizen of this country…you get the idea.
When I make myself responsible for everything from presidential elections (“if I had just volunteered at the campaign headquarters, he would have won”) to the salvation of my entire city (“if only I prayed more we would have revival in Charlotte”) and even someone else’s life (“if I had just been home to answer the phone, she might not have died”), it’s EXHAUSTING. It’s draining. If I get down to the blunt truth of it, IT IS IDOLATRY and it is wrong. It makes everything about me. Now there’s a sobering thought. God, the One I’ve been working so hard to impress, has some pretty hard things to say about idolatry. In short, He hates it.
When the universe spins around what I do or don’t do I put myself in the position of God. Only God can be God. Only He created the universe and only He holds it all together. Only He can be anyone’s Savior (OUCH!). My mortal flesh can’t measure up to all of that and was never intended to. Presidential elections, the salvation of my city and the lives of others are much bigger issues than I was intended to manage.
I was intended to glorify God by allowing Jesus to live through me. I was intended to trust and REST in Him. REST…that illusive four letter word. It is even peaceful to type that word, R-E-S-T. It is a concept that has escaped me most of my life. It actually makes me uncomfortable because I’ve equated rest with slothfulness. But God intended it from the beginning, didn’t He?
Genesis 2:3 – “Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.”
He knows our frail frame. He knows what we were created for and what we weren’t. He created us with limitations. He wanted us to rest in Him. To depend on Him. To come to Him for EVERYTHING. To need Him. When I put Myself in His role it keeps others from seeing Him. From resting in Him, from depending on Him. And it has made this “good girl” very, very tired.
Father, thank You for the grace to rest in You in all things at all times.