It’s early summer — the flowers and trees have bloomed, the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. I want to feel light-hearted and free. But as a seasonal allergy-sufferer, this time of year leaves me feeling drained, and about as empty as an old tin can. As a wife, mom, and business-owner, I power through — doing the bare minimum needed for daily living until I can rest or veg out in front of the TV.
I desire to be that woman full of vitality, fulfilling God’s call — I faintly remember how that once felt. After some extreme physical and emotional burnouts in my life (starting with a bout of mono in my early 20s), I find that I have drifted from pure obedience in my relationship with Christ to what I have come to accept as good-enough obedience simply because I try with good intentions. In my personal relationships, I have drifted from a dependable friend to that flaky friend, the one who bails at the last minute because of too many obligations, too much fatigue.
You get the drift.
This week I was reminded of a quote from one of the old-school Star Wars movies. Luke Skywalker is being supervised by Yoda in learning how to yield to the force and failing miserably. “I’m trying!” Luke yells.
Yoda answers, “Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.”
There it is — my own self-judgement summarized in a scene from Star Wars. That nagging voice behind me, saying, “You can try, but you’ll never measure up, never fulfill that dream, never be strong enough, smart enough. In a word, you are simply not enough.”
Sound familiar? Is it any wonder that we are tired, so very tired?
In the past week, I have been asking the Lord, “What is it? What am I missing? I have the want-to, but I can barely seem to walk across the floor much less act on the ideas and dreams that You whisper to me. Why won’t You provide the strength, the momentum to follow through?”
In Him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17: 28 NIV)
Throughout the week, I have endeavored to yield to Christ rather than try harder. Taking Him at His word that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. (Matt 11:30 NIV) Sending up prayers as regular as breathing, “I need you for this next hour. I need your strength to finish this work. I need you to hold me together.”
This all made me mindful of the Lord’s working in the mundane, but I wanted more. There was still a sense of desperation, and I wanted desperately to rise above that feeling!
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2).
Yesterday I watched a short video clip by Bible teacher Beth Moore. She described a scene where the Lord spoke to her to do something very odd in the middle of a busy airport. He told her to walk over to a very old man in a wheelchair and brush his long, stringy, matted hair. She argued with the Lord over this request but finally walked over to the man and proceeded to brush his hair. As she did so, she described the overwhelming feeling of being flooded with the fullness of the love of Christ.
In that moment she forgot her humiliation, her limitations, her comfort, her weariness. The love of Christ Himself fueled her obedience.
I thought, “That’s what I’m missing! I’m trying to do the work of Christ apart from being filled to the fullness of the measure of His love.”
“…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19 NIV)
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” (I Cor. 13:1 NIV)
Lord, fill us with that love that surpasses knowledge, that enables us to do what we could otherwise never do, to go where we would otherwise never go, to love those we could not otherwise love. Take us with You.
Lead us to the rock that is higher.