I previously wrote that Christians aim to live a life that is centered on God, but you can also avoid one. I want to discuss this by looking at the life of Jonah so that you won’t avoid a God-centered life but cultivate one. You can avoid it for a...
Do you ever feel like you just aren’t enough? Like there isn’t enough of you to go around and no matter how much effort you pour out, there is always something lacking? I do. Some days I wonder why I am feeling so overwhelmed and anxious, and then it hits me. It’s this nagging sense of guilt that I forgot to do something, I didn’t do something well enough, or I have so much on my plate that I’ll crack under the weight of it.
Many of us are living lives in the fast lane and even if we don’t want to, it seems there is no other option. There is this sense that if you aren’t completely maxed out, then you must be lazy, an underachiever, or not goal-oriented. But at some point, most of us will drop the ball and realize we just can’t be enough to meet every demand, need, or expectation.
Recently, I’ve found myself struggling to juggle all that is on my plate, which has been intensified by multiple health issues. Sometimes the revolving door of meal planning, caring for my children and serving my husband, taking care of the house, doing laundry, shopping, being there for friends, serving, or simply making it to church on time, along with all the other pressures of life, is enough to make me curl up in a ball and cry.
Whether you are a mom at home with kids, a husband trying to provide for his family, or someone juggling the pressures of school, work, and countless other “to do’s,” life can leave you feeling depleted, weary, and stressed. We often try to be enough when Christ never asked us to be. We try to carry burdens he never asked us to carry.
So let’s put all of our burdens aside and remind ourselves today of these five truths:
1. Christ is the source of our rest. Apart from him we will always be weary from striving in our own strength.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Why are we so heavy laden? It’s not just because we have a lot to do, but because our hearts are bent towards trying to save ourselves. We ultimately want to be able to juggle everything on our own. But what Christ reminds us is that we aren’t able to save ourselves, and we will never find rest trying to carry the burdens of life on our own shoulders. Christ died to take the weight of our sin on himself, so that we could find rest for our souls in him. However, when we walk in our own self-sufficiency, we walk outside of the rest he bought for us with his very own blood.
We find this rest by spending time with him. Literal, physical time with him. As busy as life is, if we don’t carve out time to spend in his Word, there will always be something else to fill that time. If we don’t fill up our tanks each day, we will run out of gas at some point. We can pray, “Lord forgive the pride in me that says, ‘I can save myself’, and help me learn from you and find rest for my soul.”
2. Christ will be faithful to provide what we need; yet we must be careful to discern if we are spending our time and energy in ways that Christ hasn’t asked us to.
“For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:8-9)
This is hard to do with so many things that truly need to get done. But we must always be praying for wisdom and discernment to be aware of ways we are seeking to satisfy our fleshly desires over what Christ desires. We will not find true rest while seeking things apart from Christ.
3. Instead of falling into complaining or giving up, we need to remember we are conquerors in Christ!
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39)
Many of us are currently carrying extra-heavy burdens. Understandably so, sometimes it can be all too easy to want to give up. But do not give up! We are conquerors through Jesus Christ, and nothing will separate us from his love and power to help us endure till the end. Seek him and he will provide what you need, even if it’s just to put one foot in front of the other today.
4. Christ is lavishly pouring out his grace upon us, but sometimes we forget to receive it.
“For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:15-16)
I don’t know about you, but I can be pretty hard on myself. Why? Because for some reason I think I should be able to handle everything thrown at me. That’s pride. Instead of beating ourselves up, we will find relief when admitting that we don’t need to be enough because Christ is and always will be. Laying our burdens at his feet is a daily, moment-by-moment practice. We will always battle the sinful desire to take back control, so we must actively acknowledge Christ as Lord of our lives and constantly hand back to him our “to do” lists, anxious thoughts, fears, and plans. That is where rest will be found.
5. One day, we will find eternal rest for our souls and bodies and be rewarded for standing strong and enduring till the end.
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
This is a fight of faith! No one wins a fight without training, pushing through pain, and getting proper nourishment. And faith is worth fighting for, so don’t give up! One day, if we have given our life to the lordship of Jesus Christ, every weary muscle, tired mind, and tear will be worth the everlasting joy and rest we will experience in the presence of Jesus Christ.
Where are you feeling like you just aren’t enough? Are you feeling beaten down by the burdens of life? Some days it can be hard to get up and keep going, but we must remind ourselves that we don’t need to be enough for everyone and everything. Jesus Christ is enough to provide for every need, burden, fear, and “to do” list that we may have.