Too much to do.
Do any of those words describe your life right now?
Or … perhaps you are on the other end of the spectrum:
Lack of interest.
The two lists are extremes, aren’t they?
One thing that I know for sure is that God doesn’t want me to camp out in either extreme. We might honestly have a day or two here or there … or a week from time to time … when we are met with an extreme … but you just can’t live there! You must not build a life upon the sand of stress or in the swamp of monotony. You can’t … just can’t.
He has a better plan for my life than the extremes that our world demands of us.
His will for my life is NOT boredom … but it is peace!
His will for my life is NOT over-extension … but it is productivity!
Perhaps it would benefit both of us … you, the reader and me, the writer … to stop and take a long look at both extremes. Are you ready? Take a deep breath … we can do this! What do you do when there is too much to do? What do you do when your “To-Do” list is longer than there are hours or minutes in a day? What do you do with the stress that type of life delivers? Is it possible to say, “No!” to your boss? To your family? To your church? My natural response to busyness and over-extension is to fret and to fear.
Fret and fear.
Both are forbidden. The Bible tells me to “fret not” and to “fear not”.
“Do not fret … it only causes harm.” – Psalm 37:8b
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10
So … the Bible clearly tells me what NOT to do when I am drowning in schedules, deadlines, and unending days … but what, then, am I supposed to do?! Is that particular piece of wisdom given in the Bible as well?
“I will run the course set out in Your commandments, for they gladden my heart.” – Psalm 119:32
The course that God has set for us in His commandments is doable… it is not too much nor is it too little. God’s way is the “just-right” way! The course that He has given to us is not a preposterous obstacle course fraught with danger … with impossibilities … and with unreasonable expectations.
“The course that God sets for us in His commandments is not an obstacle course but is one carefully planned to suit our qualifications – that is, not too rigorous for our limitations, not too lenient for our strengths.” – Elisabeth Elliot.
The plan of God for my life – this day – and therefore every day – is meant not to trouble me but to gladden me.
Not to weaken me but to strengthen me.
Not to frustrate me but to fulfill me.
Not to stress me out but to sustain me.
Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is comfortable, and My burden is light.” – Matthew 11:28 – 30
According to this comforting promise, spoken by Jesus Himself, Christ’s call on my life is not hard but it is easy. It is not uncomfortable but it fits well. Ah-h-h … the peace that comes from knowing that He has planned a life for me that is not stressful nor is it overreaching … but it is comfortable. And when I am stressed out? What do I do then?
I come back to Him when I am too busy … and I find rest in His arms.
But … we can’t stop there today! We must look at the other extreme that we referenced at the beginning of our conversation. The extreme of no activity at all … boredom … listlessness … monotony.
There is nothing more boring than a one-note song, is there?!
It lacks life … and melody … and harmony … and varying tones. Has your life become like a “one-note song”? What does the Bible say about that type of extreme living?!
“Faith without works is dead.” – James 2:17
If you are a man or a woman of faith … you better get busy doing something for The Kingdom of God! Teach Sunday School … be a greeter at church … volunteer to cook a meal for someone … send a teenager to camp … give a single mom the night off … bake cookies for youth group!
If your spirit is willing but your body is unable to serve … ask the pastor to send you a prayer list every week! Then … spend time in fervent prayer for those in need! You got this! You can do it!
We must run with resolution (endurance) the race that is set before us, our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Author, and Finisher of our faith.” – Hebrews 12:1 – 2
If your life has become day after day of the same … the same … the same … it is time for you to go for a spiritual run! Let’s go for a run!
This word, “run”, in Greek, means to spend one’s strength in attaining something! It is a verb that denotes the requirement of exertion of all one’s effort in order to meet a goal. If you have become a spiritual couch potato … sister … brother … get up and run!
Exert yourself for the cause of Christ!
Be more than you can be on your own and become a believer whose spirit is filled to overflowing with the power of Jesus Christ! There are books to be written … and songs to be sung … and diapers to be changed … and notes to be written … and cookies to be baked … and artwork to be created … and encouraging words to be spoken … and cures to be discovered … and prayer to be prayed … and hands to be held! And if all of this is incredibly overwhelming to you … let me leave you with a simple verse to ponder this week. Just don’t live your life in extremes … but take the advice of Micah and the Holy Spirit:
He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Carol McLeod Ministries