“I don’t know what to do. My life is too stressful. Something’s gotta give. If I quit my job, the stress will be gone, but then I can’t pay my mortgage. Everyone wants something from me. I can’t keep up.”
The woman sat next to me with pleading in her eyes. She wanted me to find a solution for her. She wanted me to open my mouth and deliver a word from the Lord.
I had nothing.
In my mind, I began to chant, Help me Holy Spirit. Help me Holy Spirit. I knew I didn’t have any answers, but I knew Who did.
Finally, a thought popped into my head. Give them a 5.
Oh! Right! It was the best advice I had ever been given, and it came when I sat next to a friend and poured out my heart in a similar way… Give them a 5.
That was several years ago. I honestly don’t even remember the exact circumstances, but I know I was feeling overwhelmed by everything in my life. I was staring at my calendar and it all felt hard.
Have you ever been there? You get tired just looking at your to-do list? Too many people pulling on your sleeve, needing you, when in reality, they could do it themselves or ask someone else?
I want to be all things to all people. I want to hit it out of the park every time I show up at the ball field (metaphorically speaking– no one wants to see me doing sports).
But I learned a few years ago that my goal shouldn’t be to WOW people. My goal should be to do what I can when I can do it, but not at the expense of my health or the welfare of my family.
So, sometimes, I do just enough to get by. Everyone gets a 5. They get half of my best.
And that other 5 that I’ve conserved for myself? Well, that’s the part of me that I take quietly to God. I sit with Him instead of running around like a crazy lady.
And you know what’s really crazy? That bit that I’ve saved for myself and God finally has the space to multiply. I begin to feel stronger and more able to continue– and perhaps give my total 10 to someone who really needs it.
For the next three weeks, I’m giving a 5 in the category of “scripture memorization” and I hope you will too. I’ve been wanting to memorize the entire paragraph from the end of Matthew 11, but I know my brain will be on overload if I try to do it all in one sitting.
So instead, I’m going to take it one little line at a time. Nice and easy.
Here’s the first part: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
Next week, we’ll work on committing verse 29 to memory, then the following week, verse 30. But this week, let’s just focus on what God’s trying to say to us in this one small sentence.
Is it time to come back to God because the world’s been beating you up? Is there an area where you need to cut back? Maybe we can spend the week pondering what God is telling us in our own lives about this verse.
I’m certain He wants to speak to us if we’ll only pull back the extra 5 we want to give to the world and give it to Him instead.