As we peel off the onion-layers of our busyness, our motivations and priorities are coming into focus, and it may or may not be a little sobering. It’s no surprise that at the heart of most of us women is just this longing to be loved and valued, to be connected to other people in meaningful relationships. But when we sit down and admit how much that drives us– realize we will do whatever that takes, regardless of our own health and welfare? Who knew that Love would be such a taskmaster?
I think of Jesus’ quiet words, that seem more and more relevant: “Come to me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30) Because He already loves us with an everlasting love. He rejoices over us with singing. He says there is no more condemnation for us who are resting in Him, only grace that is sufficient for all our weakness.
So we can say no to the things that are not ours to do, without losing worth, or any of His regard. And we can say yes to anything He asks of us for the sheer delight of pleasing Him, in full confidence of His enabling us for the task. Best of all, we can ask Him to show us the difference between what is ours and what is not….ask Him to show us how to let go of the fear that we will not be worthy of love.
There is freedom in His invitation to Come, a safe place of acceptance to run to, when we are feeling pushed and pulled by the voices around us…when other people’s expectations and opinions get too difficult to carry around. And there is purpose here, in all tasks large or small, as long as they come from His hand. I suspect that if we could see how our Everyday is alight with the glory of His favor, we could more easily trust that each circumstance is given according to our unique workmanship and His good plans for our growth. We just need to know (down deep in the heart of us) that His is the only voice that matters.
Forgive us, Lord, for listening to people more than to You; for holding up the opinions and expectations of others above Your will for us; for trying to fill up our hearts with the admiration and approval of people, when the Beloved One of Heaven has already given us all things. Let us rest in the Sabbath of Your love.
“… love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced His perfect love.”
(1 John 4:18)
“He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane;
I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.”
(How He Loves, John Mark McMillan)