This is a hard one to swallow sometimes, our anxiety is related to PRIDE...a belief that we can or should handle it all and handle it all well. I have noticed a recurring pattern of anxiety in my life that has varied in its intensity or presentation in different seasons of my life. This morning it came again. I started to write in my journal, asking God to specifically answer my request for help in this area of my life.
Then...I read this...
An Excerpt from the book, "Expectations & Burnout: Women Surviving the Great Commission" by Eenigenburg & Bliss.
A friend of the authors, Tina Henry, gives her tips for handling the overwhelming stress of her life:
(1) PRIORITIES- She says, "When I was younger, I always felt that if I just worked harder, faster, and smarter, I could do it ALL. I could take on any new commitment that came my way with God's strength. Now as I am older, and have even less energy than before, I realize that I can't do it all. God never intended for me to. I see now that I must be careful to do the most important things first, because I'll never get to all the good things there are to do. I must leave the undone things in God's hands, praying about those things, but realizing that I cannot do them all myself."
I have often subconsciously believed I could do all things well if I just worked "smarter or harder." I am learning to repent of this belief!
(2) PEOPLE - ask others for help! "...it is good to get others involved and to have them do some of the things I can't do." This humbles us - to ask for help is to reveal NEED.
(3)& (4) PATIENCE & PERSISTENCE. "Some things take a long time to accomplish like learning a language or developing meaningful relationships. We need to persevere, knowing that these things will not be accomplished in a day. It is good to break such long-range goals into pieces and pray through each one, looking to God to bless our efforts one step at a time."
Sometimes I am greatly passionate about my goals and forget that my own efforts cannot produce results unless God is in them. I need to wait on Him.
(5) MULTIPLICATION - We need to "...trust God to multiply our small efforts, just as He multiplied the boy's small lunch to meet the needs of many thousands." "I pray that God will multiply my feeble efforts in each area of responsibility to meet the needs of others. I look to Him to see what He wants me to be involved in, and as I do all I can in each area, minimal though it might be, I can expect Him to multiply my efforts to the blessing of others. I would find life very overwhelming if I didn't know we serve a powerful and gracious God at work. This relieves a lot of pressure, for He can maximize our minimal efforts for His glory and the blessing of others."
She closes her suggestions by wrapping it ALL in PRAYER. It is through PRAYER that God directs us to know WHAT to take on, WHOM to serve and whom to ask for help, how to have PATIENCE and perseverence, and it is God alone who Multiplies our efforts.
I closed my devotional time this morning by listening to a song by CORRINNE MAY called "FIVE LOAVES & TWO FISHES" - I highly recommend you to download this. It captues the essence of these thoughts.
I can only give my "lunch" but He is the one Who Feeds Thousands. My pride relates to the fact that I think I can do it all...but I can't...humility is a beautiful freedom that surrenders its efforts to God, and then enjoys living in that simple trust.