I do not know where that line is
between self sacrifice
and self preservation.
When to say yes
and when to say no.
Is NO a selfish word?
Is YES a selfless word?
We are urged from the word of God
to pour out our lives for others.
To give generously, from the heart.
To love through action,
thus showing our faith
as well as showing the love that God has for others.
So when opportunities arise as they always do
in churches, big or small,
but anxiety is a factor
what is one to do?
In the past I have been part of Sunday schools,
vacation bible schools, bible studies and more
but often in a quiet agony
only those closest to me ever see.
Sometimes I feel the spirit of God in me
nudge me to do something
and even though I fear it
I am able to do it
while trembling, while shaking,
while doubting myself,
and yet there is a peace and steadfast
at odds against my mind and body’s anxious reaction,
so I go and I do it.
Then there are the times
which are more frequent
when a need arises
such as doing sunday school in the summer
to give our wonderful, dedicated full time volunteers
a much needed break.
So I sign up.
Do I want to do it?
I have no desire to do it.
Either than to do my part and serve.
There is also the fact that at least half of the class
are my own children.
So I figure I owe those who have been loving my kids,
and serving with their whole hearts and mind, a break.
even adding one or two children who are not mine
has my anxiety spiking.
I know logically there is no reason for this response.
These kids are great kids.
And yet deep down I am somehow terrified of them.
I do not understand it.
I am able to write a sunday school plan.
Actually enjoy it.
But thinking about doing this little hour of service
throughout the whole week
has an undercurrent of anxiety running through me 24 hours a day,
7 days a week.
Just picture having yourself hooked up to a machine
and being slightly shocked every time you have a slightly stressful thought
or are in a stressful moment, or when you sit or rise,
walk, or plan.
It is always there,
connected to you,
sending waves of electric current through your body.
It is draining.
Leaving me not only tired
Eventually there comes a point
when I am unable to cope with the normal
stress level life brings.
You know…happy kids, grumpy kids, appointments, messes, etc etc…
It all becomes too much strain and pressure.
All because I said yes.
Jesus says that those who want to save their life
will lose it and those who lose their life for Him will save it,
in Matthew 16:25.
Is this literal,
or does it translate into service?
If I try to protect my mind from this extreme stress
am I dishonoring Him?
I ask this with sincerity,
And even now I am hearing a resounding NO in my heart and mind.
No I AM NOT!
I am not dishonoring Him by being fallible.
I am clinging to Him in the midst of it.
The enemy of our souls
uses scripture as a sword against us at times,
just as he tried with our Lord.
But we have to know the fullness of scripture.
We need to know the full love that God has.
His full love.
His full mercy.
His full grace.
And this is what He says:
He will not leave us
or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)
He desires us to say yes out of a fullness in our hearts (2 Corinthians 9:7 & Matthew 5:37)
His mercies are new every day (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Righteousness is not gained by doing things
but only by the grace of God (Galatians 2:21)
He is not waiting to crush us in our weakness
or put out our light when we screw up(Isaiah 42:3)
He desires us to put our hope in Him, no matter the situation (Psalm 33 only one of many scriptures)
It is through these weaknesses and brokenness that his grace is felt and seen,
His power able to work and be known (2 Corinthians 12:9)
So person writing this!!
Pay attention! Sit up!
Listen to this!
Get it into your head!
You are not letting God down.
He made you.
And He knew what you would struggle with.
When He calls you to something
He sees you through it.
And if you ignore Him anyway,
He still loves you!!
AND your action did not take him by surprise.
So you can say NO
as you learn to say YES to HIM.
Because He knows the plans He has for you
plans to prosper you and not to harm you
plans to give you a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).
Trust in His voice.
Trust in His plan.
Let go of the pressures and the fears of letting others down.
And let God speak to you,
let your yes
be from the fullness of your heart, mind and soul
instead of the fumes of exhausted obligation.
Yes..even as I write this I hear that little voice of dark and doom
mocking me and saying “really….is that really how it works? you are kidding yourself,
you are just living in a self absorbed culture and are giving yourself permission to be selfish.”
Go suck a lemon Satan!
Jesus, help me to stand on YOUR word and truth. Help me to stand firm and allow your love
to fall over me,
You do not condemn
Give light to my eyes Lord
and help me see your way each day, each decision.
May it be. Amen. Amen.
Jesus, I fear at times writing these things, that people may see that I am accepting my brokenness without fighting. I guess maybe it is satan’s voice as well that gets in there and says that I like being broken. It allows me to say no. Please do Your work in my heart and mind Lord. I do desire to be free from anxiety but I honestly can not imagine it. I can not comprehend what it is like for others to just see what needs to be done and do it without the mental torture of anxiety. Lord…you give to us each many gifts, talents and even struggles all go through your hands. Help me to let go of the imaginary expectations that threaten to crush my mind and soul. Help me to step forward under you each day, for your burden is light.