But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. (Philippians 2:17)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
Bone tired. Weary. These past few weeks have been mentally draining, but rewarding, full of ups and downs. I’ve ridden a roller coaster of emotions from utmost despair to life-giving hope. I’m exhausted. My faith in the concept of an Open Heaven was put to the test, recently, with the hospitalization of my mother. I thought of the story of Hezekiah when I asked God for more time with MaDear. Surely this is a small thing for you, Lord! God granted my request and I am so thankful! But after a week of watching over her, culminating in an overnight stay, my own life suffered from neglect. Even as issues came up while I was tending to my mom, I regarded them with Scarlett O’Hara disdain: I won’t think about that now. I’ll think about that tomorrow!
So a week’s worth of I’ll-do-it-tomorrows, fires that needed putting out YESTERDAY and things that required my immediate attention were delayed until that crisis was over. And I’d do it again. No THING was as important as what I was doing at that moment, no place so dire that it required my presence. My mom needed me and I needed to be with her. These other things were important, just not as high in priority. Then came the day of reckoning, when it all caught up to me. Wave after wave of actions I could no longer put off overwhelmed me. To be fair, some of it was my fault due to my own habit of procrastination.
Moments of joy also snuck into the dilemmas – I attended a business expo where I debuted a copy of Immaculate and had a meeting with a woman of some standing regarding the original book, Touched. Picture me tagging along in the footsteps of said woman (the wife of a prominent dignitary) looking the picture of the ingénue. Kinda like Emma Stone’s character in The Help or Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada – you know, the all too green girl who’s brand new to the scene. I took it all in with a sense of wonder. I was among greatness! But I wasn’t too surprised, after all, the Bible does promise that is where my gifts will take me. Still, I just hope my eyes weren’t too big, LOL!
This created an odd mixture of highs and lows as both aforementioned events occurred on the same day and I had to squeeze in a visit to my mom in between. My sister fell sick after she’d stayed up all night providing confections for my presentation at the expo. She made cake pops that looked like tiny books with my cover on them! Super talented, that one is. I had to return to the hospital and finish out her shift. Whew! But I didn’t give in. I kept going until the important things were taken care of.
It was only afterwards that I succumbed. After my mom was released from the hospital and doing well, after I’d taken care of all the necessary things that claimed my attention. I woke yesterday morning feeling out of sorts, blah, troubled in my spirit. Didn’t even know why. Couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I’ve learned, though, that feelings are fickle. Can’t trust ‘em because they may vary from minute to minute. I ate breakfast as my stomach did flips. Drank my coffee and still was not eased. Then I decided to ride it out and just wait ‘til the feeling passed. I took a nap. Woke up feeling better and had more of a handle on what I was experiencing. My throat felt like it had a small lump on the inside when I swallowed, an indication of the onset of something allergy or virus related. And there I had it, I realized. I was worn down, nearly sick physically but too busy to take note. My body was slowly shutting down, forcing me to get what I needed, the rest I would not take but for physical limitations.
Have you ever felt like you’ve given your all, your absolute all – done the very best you can do and worn yourself down to a nub? A question I’ve often asked myself is, where do you go when you’ve emptied your cup? Who or what fills you back up to capacity so that you can get back at it again? Father, I’m so glad that when troubles come my way, when they pile up on my head, when the enemy comes against me like a flood, YOU will lift up a standard against him (Isaiah 59:19). David, that great psalmist, was able to declare after he had been run to the ground by Saul and his enemies: YOU restore my soul so that my cup runneth over! Elijah, after outrunning King Ahab’s chariot, soon found himself on the run from Queen Jezebel. But an angel caught up with Elijah and provided sustenance to strengthen him for the journey ahead. So when I pour myself out and sacrifice myself in service, I can be assured there will be a refill and restoration.
Thank you, Lord, that you know my limits. You know when I have poured myself out and given all I can to my family and my ministry. You know when I am at the end of my rope. I can trust You to make sure I get the rest I need and the peace for my soul. You fill my cup again and again, until it overflows.
Be forever blessed,