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Get Out of the Abyss

This week has been hard. It has demanded much of me.

Have you had days and weeks like this? Weeks that simply take a toll as you pass through them as though you had no choice in the matter.

Work demands time and attention.

Relationships require an investment of time, thought and emotion.

Speaking of emotions... they demand to be experienced and dealt with no matter how inconvenient their timing in surfacing.

Friends and family need, and deserve, intentional effort from us.

Our personal interests and hobbies don’t just diminish during stressful weeks, so that needs to be balanced, too.

That bible study, class, committee or small group you’ve been involved with... your tough week doesn’t cancel that either. And while you could choose not to go, you know you probably need the connection so add that to the list.

Are you a spouse? A parent? Now you feel the pressure to create time from thin air to manage household responsibilities and the not-so-small task of showing up for your family in the midst of all of the above.

It becomes a lot awfully quickly sometimes doesn’t it? And before we know it, these things that were once a source of great joy and fulfillment suddenly feel a lot like like a source of pressure and stress, or obligatory checklist items.

Oh, and then somewhere in the middle comes the question, “Where is my devotional time supposed to fit?” That soon becomes a checklist item, too, though it is the very thing that fixes our eyes on the One who gives us the strength to fulfill our role(s) in this life.

And what happens when life weighs us down to the point of living for the check mark inside the box is dangerous. We become numb to joy. We become blind to our calling, deaf to God’s whisper. We leave our friends and our families in the dust kicked up as we chase the next check mark.

This is how the world corrupts God’s design - subtly, and in the form of things that seem good and right while they sweep us off our feet into the abyss of “try harder,” “do more” and “be more.” This is how the world tries to win our hearts - by exhausting them so much we can’t fight against it anymore, but instead simply give in.

This is not the life Jesus invited us to live in Him. He invited us to rest [Matthew 11:28]. He invited us to peace that surpasses all understanding [Philippians 4:6-8]. He invited us to clarity [1 Cor. 14:33]. He invited us to a spiritually abundant [John 10:10] and fruitful [John 15] life.

And this invitation doesn’t require us to leave our lives behind and dismiss our call to be faithful where He has us. It simply invites us to drop the weights of “I need to do more, be more and try harder,” and find all that we are in and through Him, within His design, as He leads.

The Bible does not fail to speak to priorities, either. Can we talk about this for a moment while I have you here? Because it isn’t just the world contributing to the confusion of our hearts, the church makes a contribution of its own at times. Being faithful where God has you starts at home, not making sure you fill a seat at every available Bible study while your family sits in the midst your absence at home. The Bible leaves no gray area when it comes to healthy priorities [like in 1 Timothy 5:8]. As Pastor Buz used to say (probably still does!), “It’s God, family, then everything else.” If your priorities don’t match that in real life, expect friction.

Life could be so much different for us, my friends. Will it still be exhausting at times? Absolutely. Living for Jesus isn’t an effortless lifestyle, just ask Paul. Timothy wasn't told to fight the good fight for nothing. But, unlike the world who takes our life from us while we’re still breathing, Jesus offers us abundant life to do, be and experience more than we ever thought possible if we will just lay ourselves before Him.

This week has been hard. It has demanded much of me.

Yet, at the end of it, I find that Jesus has never failed to be more than enough.

~ Alyssa

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