Wednesday, August 17, 2005

to walk and not grow weary...

encouragement from a friend....posting it here to help others who may have read and said "i feel the same." also to remind myself next time i'm having one of those days.


To Walk and Not Grow Weary
Devotional:
As I have been walking with the Lord for many years now, I have encountered many times in my life the "burn-out" syndrome. Often there are times when I perceive myself as being: rightly-related to God and His Word, attending my local assembly, and doing all the Godly things that I know are pleasing in God's eyes.

However, there are also many times when I am overwhelmed by the details of living and family life and children. I feel that things that I do on a daily basis are not making a difference in other's lives, let alone my own personal life.

Sometimes I feel I don't have a life, and have "lost myself" in raising my own family to follow after God. I feel as if I have missed the spiritual boat and see everyone waving to me from topside as I stand on the shore shouting :

"Have a Good trip, and don't forget to write !!"

Galatians 6:9 reads: "And let us not grow weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

As women, How can we not grow weary in well-doing and sustain our momentum with the Lord without fainting?

I looked up in my Vine's Expository Dictionary what weary meant and it described exactly what I was going through. It means to be beaten out, to toil, to labor.... I thought: beaten out? like a scrambled egg? like meringue for a pie?

The Word labor denotes "to strike or cut, beating resulting in weariness, laborious toil." If you have ever made a lemon meringue pie, it takes a lot of beatings to get that meringue to stand up!

If you are like me as many of us are, it often seems that our work is in vain...that we just aren't getting any where or seeing the fruits of our labor. This can be wearying to our souls because of ungodly expectations. The word expectation means "...the thing that I long for..."
I think I get burned out, beaten out many times because of striving in my natural self to because "the things that I long for" do not proceed out of the mouth of God: His Holy Word.

There is the "beating out" we take when God wants to pass us through the fire and purge out all the impurity in our souls. When I feel as though I being passed through the fire of various situations, I picture God as a Blacksmith who takes me His creation and holds me in the fire with the tongs until I get "beat red".

"Oh", He says, "There, now she will be molded, and take the shape I want. Hold still, woman of God; it'll only hurt for a minute..." and then I become molded into God's design.
But how many times must I pass through the fire? How long until I am made perfect?
Only the Creator knows.

I think that learning to not grow weary in well-doing takes a purposeful waiting on God. It means to look to Him for my expectations.

What does that mean? My expectation is of God?

I believe it means that the things that I long for should be according to the Holy Spirit and not be of the natural man and the world's system of values as my source of hope.
What should my expectations of myself and others be and how do false expectations drive me into weariness?

I think many women grow weary because they place expectations on themselves and others that are not of a godly origin even though those expectations may be accepted by "Christianity at large".

So many women fall prey to the mentality of the perfect, Christian, suburban housewife and godly mother routine and have so much on their plate that it becomes like a religious gluttony of service... in which they are serving man and not God. They become weary in their minds and frustrate the grace of God in their daily lives, and are not happy or content with their role as a woman of God.

I love Psalm 62: 5, 6: .... "My soul, wait Thou only upon God: for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved."

My expectation should be of God and not myself or man. When my hope - the thing that I long for- is according to the Spirit and not of the flesh, I will not grow weary in well-doing because the works I do will be of faith in the Lord and not through the striving of the natural man.
I will not grow weary in my mind when I am at rest through the details of my life. It is so easy to know and talk about this principle, but let's see if we can come up with some practical applications of what it means to wait on God and have Him be our Expectation.

So, What are some practical solutions to not growing weary in well doing?

Here is one woman's testimony how she could keep from becoming weary in daily living:
"I thank you for suggesting that I just getting up earlier to have a quiet time. In order to have a quiet time, I would have to get up before the children awake. My mind comes up with a million reasons why I wouldn't want to consistently get up each day at 5 am to spend time in prayer and the Word...but what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?
There are times when I get very frustrated with my 3 year old, and I want to just run away and hide from family life. I find that when I feel trapped, it is because I am thinking in that Christian way of the perfect mother who awakens at the crack of dawn; who is well-groomed with the aroma of coffee brewing in the air and freshly baked bread on the table.
All my children rise up out of bed and sing in unison:
"Blessed Mother, how we love you..." (smile)

Instead I wake up to my 3 year old growling at me; my hair standing up on one side; the ten year old gets up like a slow and moody slug and on and on proceeds the day like a revolving circle of frustration.

When I try to have any semblance of a quiet time that is when the kids act up even more cause I am not paying attention to them. I yell .. and they growl ...and then I react in anger and throw a pity party for myself.

But recently, as a result of wanting to change my own responses to my family, I have in the implemented some new routines. I now am up at 6 am which is when the baby wakes up from sunshine in her eyes. I get ready for the day and then we all do breakfast together. I have found that changing my routine and being ready before the children wake up has helped me tremendously.

I also try to have my kitchen cleaned before I go to bed.... and my floors vacuumed. I reward myself with time on the computer only when I have spent enough time with 3 year old and most of the house work is done or when the kids take a nap.

These practical changes have helped me maintain a sense of self-control and control of my family life... My expectation (the things that I long for) can be attained with simple changes in my thought life and daily routine."

What a great testimony!

Our sister spoke of an important point in that the things we long for can be attained or met by us changing our thought lives and thus changing our habits. I think that when I as a mom and woman of God submit my will to His Will, I will not be moved by life's storms. I will not let my emotions direct my actions and words.
Isaiah 26:3 reads: "The steadfast of mind Thou wilt keep in perfect peace,because He trusts in Thee."

Learning to develop godly expectations has enabled me to be at peace with myself. I have learned within the last two months to understand that my family is my calling.

Raising my kids and providing a PEACEFUL atmosphere in the home should be one my goals. I cannot have peace of mind if I have not made peace with God each day.

Praying without ceasing.. an attitude of prayerfulness and steadfastness of mind keeps me from becoming weary in my daily life.

I will not faint or lose heart because my trust and expectations are of God.
Let your hope be in God today that the details of your life will not overtake you lest you become weary in your mind. Rest in the provision of His Word today...

After all, is He not beautiful for situations?

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