Sunday, January 10, 2016

Come Unto Me

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.---Matthew 11:28

I am coming, ever so slowly, out of a "Martha Season".

Each December I enter one.  I work and I bake and I clean and I shop and I wrap and I perfect all the details I possibly can and I don't want anyone ANYWHERE to feel left out so I do for them too and I agonize over spending money and meeting USPS shipping deadlines and neglecting my husband and then I get grouchy and my life spins out of my control and and and and. . . ..

Nearly 20 years of marriage.  Nearly 20 Christmases together.  Out of those, I have not Martha'd only one Christmas, when I had just rolled out of an RV the month prior nearly 3000 miles away from the only life I ever knew, and had to buy ornaments at the Goodwill. I don't remember what I bought or did for the holiday that year.  I just know that I wasn't exhausted or grouchy.   

The exhaustion and grouchiness are not the worst part of the Martha season. No, not even the strained relationships which I have to mend (husband), that's not the worst part. The worst part is neglecting and straining my relationship with Jesus. . . 

. . . .who I am supposed to be celebrating. 

Then, when the hustle and bustle is over and it is quiet, and yet I am still exhausted and even more grouchy, I slowly come to my senses and realize that, in giving away to everyone else, I have lost something.

My joy.

Oh, there were red flags. Warnings unheeded.  Up too late, no time made to really, seriously pray, physical exhaustion, falling back on unhealthy coping mechanisms, tongue a little too loose, getting all fired up by social and political issues, waking up annoyed at the tasks that lay ahead of me that day, snapping at my children, wrestling the leadership away from the hubby.

The Great Physician has a course of treatment for this.

"Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."

"Draw nigh unto him, and he will draw nigh unto you."

"They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy."

There are times in this life where I know what to do. I have had to do it a lot. I have done this Martha-ing a lot.  I have always and forever struggled with being a doer on my own terms.  Isn't that what our sister struggled with?  She was trying, bless her heart, to serve the Lord.  Her way.  On her strength.

But even though I know what I need to do, I need God to help me do it.  So I asked Him to help humble me.  Soon it came----the feelings of lowness, sadness even, mourning my loss of fellowship with the Lord, needing to ask forgiveness for straying away, a burden that needed relief.  And so it was I found myself, finally, in my prayer spot, seeking His face.  Starting awkwardly, but starting, and just asking Him to give me what I needed, because I don't even know what I need, beyond the fact that I KNOW THAT HE HAS IT.

And oh sisters. . . .it came. Boy did it come!  Just love. . .washed over me in an overwhelming, all encompassing, all satisfying, never thirsting again fashion, leaving me crying out for more mercy, and Him loving me more, and me praising and thanking, and Him loving, and 

WOW that is AWESOME!  

Oh my goodness----there is nothing more we need in this life!  Nothing!  The next day I awoke, still struggling a bit until I prayed.  There I could honestly thank Him for the day ahead and feel that thanksgiving in my soul, thank Him for the job of motherhood and my children, pray sincerely for my husband's day, pray with a heartbreaking love for the brothers and sisters in my church, and for many of you good sisters reading this right now.  I have already seen the fruits of some of these prayers.

I could ask Him for a job to do, a person's life I could touch through Him, for the lost, for a fiery conviction of unrest and brokenness to rain down on those I love who need Him.  

Oh sister, do you need rest?  Do you need to know that "The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms"?    

His work for us is that we trust and obey.  Trust Him----with our time, our commitments, our schedules, our budgets, by making our alone time with Him a priority-----and obey His word, in study, in prayer. . . 

In repentance.

In behavior changes.

In thanksgiving and praise.

In the specific job that He gives us.  Not the ones we think He has given us, or the ones we think we need to do for Him.  

In digging deeper in His word in study, and allowing the Spirit to reveal more of His beauty to us.

"Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?"---Jeremiah 8:22

Sister, He is the best father we could ever ask for.  He loves you and desires your fellowship.

You are loved,  and your prayers for me are appreciated.

Sandra :)