When I say the word stress, what's your first instinct? If you're anything like me, thinking about stress makes you want to run for the hills! From every angle, we are bombarded by stress on a daily basis. We have obligations to our work, our families, and everything we just have to do.
Now, let's change gears. I have a single-serve Keurig that has a water reservoir for my one cup of coffee. So one morning, still groggy from waking early, I started to make my usual cup of coffee. I filled my reusable filter, popped it in, and pressed start.
After a minute or so, I heard a horrible hissing sound. I suddenly realized that I forgot to put the water in! The Keurig was trying to heat up non-existent water to brew, or to pour forth, the coffee that I had asked it to brew!
And yet, it couldn't. It needed to be filled, needed something necessary to do what it was designed to do. In that moment, felt just like the Keurig. I needed to be filled to do what I was designed to do!
I almost laughed at how distressed the Keurig sounded until I realized that in my heart of hearts, I was feeling the same way.
What happens when we serve out of stress? What happens when we are asked to pour forth what we don't have?
I, personally, almost snap. I look at what I get to do as something I have to do. I view the call of God on my life as an obligation rather than a joy. I give selfishly, saving the very best for myself and offering the little bit that I've got left to everyone else. I reach a point where I am serving others out of a place of brokenness because I have nothing else to give. I place myself over the power of vulnerability, over the need for relationship with others.
I'd like to offer a reminder, friends: it is not selfish to take a break. It is not selfish to say no. It is not selfish to turn off your phone and spend time with your Creator.
Humans were created with a need for connection, absolutely! In my experience, sometimes I need to take a rest and connect with my Creator instead!
Friends, we cannot serve effectively when we are serving out of stress. The Kingdom of Heaven, and the love of Jesus, is not a striving thing. Freely He gives, freely we are called to receive!
Grab a hold of the promise in Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG). “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."
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