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  • Betsy James

A Word to the Weary


For the first time in recent memory the upcoming holiday season is causing me to feel overwhelmed. I generally greet December with a surge of creative energy and anticipation but truthfully, I am feeling a bit maxed out at the moment and the thought of adding anything else to my plate - even amazingly wonderful things - is causing a big tension knot in my shoulders. Anyone else?

It's not just the holidays - it's the tempo and craziness of everyday life. It's my three kids and teaching and house cleaning and email and ministry and upcoming events and grocery lists and diets and budgets and, and, and...It's all left me feeling very human.

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:14

I alternate between being tremendously encouraged by the fact that God remembers we are dust, (because I'm feeling quite dusty these days,) and remembering that I am in fact more than human.

We've been talking about the fruit of the Spirit with our kids and asking that God would grow this fruit in our family and it occurred to me recently that this fruit is beyond human - it is quite literally super human! Because of God's Spirit within me, it is possible that I could pour forth super human joy. Because of God's Spirit I can show you super human patience. Because of God's Spirit I can have super human peace. Check out what Paul writes to the Corinthians in chapter 3 verse 3:

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?

Are you not acting like mere humans?

Mere humans. Do you know why I love that phrase? Because it implies that we can be more...we can be more than mere humans - this is the gift of God's Spirit within us.

And yet...our frame is still dust - God remembers - and we certainly remember. So how then should we live?

We lay our work before the Lord.

This is a new practice I have adopted during times of prayer. It is simply walking through your upcoming day and laying all the various work before Him. "Here is the parenting and the cooking and the errands and the rehearsals and the meetings - here it is Lord." It is asking Him to help us shoulder the burden of this work. Asking Him to help us accomplish this work with cheerfulness. Asking that this work would glorify Him. And sometimes asking if all of this work is meant for me. Is there something I am supposed to set down? (I keep hoping this might be housework!)

And then we ask for more of Him and less of us.

Another spiritual habit I have recently adopted (out of desperation) is a quick prayer in which I open my hands and ask that I would decrease and He would increase. "Please help, Lord. There is not enough of me but Your grace is sufficient. Be strong in my weakness. I don't want to be merely human in this moment. Please fill me with your super human fruit. Less of me. More of You. Less of me. More of You. Even now, Lord. Amen."

“O Christ, do not give me tasks equal to my powers, but give me powers equal to my tasks, for I want to be stretched by the things too great for me. I want to grow through the greatness of my tasks, but I shall need your help for the growing.” - E. Stanley Jones

He must become greater; I must become less.

John 3:30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28


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