“Exhaustion is the enemy of intimacy. Only as you care for yourself do you have a healthy self to give away.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 11, 2022
Then Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up. “There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd? John 6:8-9
Jesus is the hero in the story of feeding the 5,000. Our Lord takes a generous boy’s modest lunch of bread and fish and performs a miracle. The unnamed lad is certainly willing to share what he has with Jesus and trust Him to multiply what he gave with no expectations attached. But he had help being able to help. Who prepared the boy’s lunch? Probably his caring mom who had no idea that the routine way she loved her son would be used by God to bless several thousand people. She did her part to love her child in the little things, selflessly caring for and showing compassion for the needs of one.
As a mom do you sometimes feel invisible, unimportant? Does it seem like your acts of kindness go unnoticed, with only reoccurring demands to be served? From time to time this feeling may steal your joy and feed your anger and resentment. Or, you may be drowning with more expectations from your family than you have the capacity to fulfill. If so, pause in prayer, ask the Spirit to renew your spirit and fill your heart with humble gratitude for God’s love and comfort. Reassess what you need. Ask for help. Do less and trust God to do more. He loves you and He will take what you give Him and multiply your efforts. Compassionate and caring moms need extra doses of care and compassion.
“As apostles of Christ we certainly had a right to make some demands of you, but instead we were like children among you. Or we were like a mother feeding and caring for her own children” (1 Thessalonians 2:6-7).
Exhaustion is the enemy of intimacy. Only as you care for yourself do you have a healthy self to give away. The flight attendants have it correct: you must put the oxygen on yourself first to be able to care for your children. What gives you life? A quiet room? An engaging book? Sitting on the porch alone? A walk outside? Laughing with a group of friends who love you? The treadmill of not taking time for yourself only leads to exhaustion, anxiety and a drowning sensation. Take hold of the life preserver of God’s love and the love of others to rest in Christ’s peace and joy.
You may know a mom who silently, selflessly serves but is screaming on the inside in need of help. Perhaps you show up and offer to take care of her children, so she can refresh herself by doing nothing or something she wants to do. Consider paying for a couple to see a Christian counselor, so husband and wife can speak their pain out loud to a compassionate professional. Moms who care for others need care. Care and compassion from their heavenly Father, family and friends. Find a mom and show her how you care.
I’m challenged to my core by Henri Nouwen’s endearing description of compassion, and how constantly giving compassion is draining, especially for mothers of children:
Compassion asks us to go where it hurts, to enter into the places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, and anguish. Compassion challenges us to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears. Compassion requires us to be weak with the weak, vulnerable with the vulnerable, and powerless with the powerless. Compassion means full immersion in the condition of being human.
Heavenly Father, I trust you to renew my soul to learn of you and rest in you, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Who do I know who is exhausted by her care for others? How can I offer help?
TobyMac: Help is on the Way
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