My days begin early, often before 5am…sometimes they seem to never have a healthy beginning or end. God created day and night, but often I can’t quite grasp these manageable portions of time I long for because I have a few sons who don’t sleep well at night. I’m sure one day they will. But for now, I’m tired. A lot.
Our days are filled with constant activity. By noon, sometimes sooner, I can feel myself slipping into a place where my thought life becomes my hiding place. And there, I find it easy to carry on a monologue with myself. “You didn’t get any sleep last night. This is going to be a bad day. It sure didn’t start well. I’m going to let everyone around me know how unfair this is and then I’ll feel justified in being crabby today. Yep, I’m sinking in to mySELF and I’m just going to rest there for the day because nothing here could possibly turn this day around.”
Can you hear how negative that self talk is? Have you ever said any of those things to yourself?
Some days I do manage to get a bit more sleep, but maybe I’m just overwhelmed by all there is to do, the kids are fighting all day, no one is listening to me and I’m feeling like I just can’t possibly take another second of this day. What happened? Where did it go wrong? Where did I go wrong? On those days, I do want to run and hide. I feel consumed, crushed and all together desperate to run away. I don’t feel like standing up or fighting. I just want to disappear. Not forever, just long enough to find some peace, some perspective maybe and even some quiet….where I can breathe and not be needed.
Notice the needs here: peace, perspective, quiet pause, freedom, refreshing. All good things. In my mind, I tell myself that I’m a mom. My children, my family…they are my first and most important ministry, my high calling. If I were a mother worthy of her calling, why would I need to get away? I should be able to stand up and do this life….to walk this road and not fall down. So you see how the guilt and self condemnation can be heaped right on top of all of it.
But God tells us over and over again…that ultimately, the one and only thing that will ever satisfy that desperate need to run and hide…is our One and Only. I realize now, that it’s only when I haven’t spent time with God, that my get-up-and-fight is gone and I become a desperate flight risk. And in those desperate moments, because I’ve let myself get that far off track by not spending time with God…I become completely focused on my circumstances instead of on Jesus.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
I mentioned there are times when I feel crushed. I do. But I never feel that way when I’m seeking Jesus. I want to be all in, sold out to Him, never again straying or going a single day without chasing Him.
So the question becomes, WHY do we want to run and hide? And if we do, where will we go? It’s the incredible need to feel different that makes me want run to the nearest coffee shop alone, spend the whole day away taking care of me or even just sit in my car alone somewhere for a couple of hours. To feel different; something other than the current feeling that is pulling me down. Moms, isn’t that what drives us all to want to escape for a while? To just feel something different? But all of those fear-based, back-against-the-wall attempts at finding any lasting satisfaction by running away will only breed more hopelessness.
Every single time we want to run for the door, there’s a door number two just waiting to be opened that simply says: JESUS. All we have to do is choose it. In Ephesians 5:18 we’re instructed to “…not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,” Yes, there is a literal meaning here when it comes to drunkenness, but I also believe God is telling us not to run to unwise things that that will only make us feel different, temporarily. We want lasting Peace and a Hope that’s hear to stay. We can feel different when we choose to be filled with the Spirit, when we choose Jesus. For those who receive Christ into their hearts, there is one indwelling of the Holy Spirit that lasts for all time. But according to the original Greek translation, to be filled means we “keep on being filled constantly and continually”. Sounds like something we need to do every single day…no matter what!
This week when we want to feel something different, instead of running for the escape door. let’s choose to be filled with the Spirit by choosing the proverbial door that is Jesus. Making time to be with Him daily won’t happen by accident, but when we bring even this to God, He will show us how to intentionally be filled with the Spirit. Let’s continue encouraging one another here and share ways we can constantly and continually turn to Jesus in the midst of our circumstances. Praying for each one of you here.
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