"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"
The verse that is a favorite verse to a lot of Christians is Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." A beautiful reminder that it is through Christ that we have strength to endure what life throws our way. But for a long time I had this verse twisted. I had the mindset that I can do ALL things. Yep, it was okay for my plate to be overflowing. I just kept piling on the responsibilities. And eventually I was on system overload. Every aspect of my life started to feel overwhelming. Work, friends, church, home and my relationship with God. I was stretched too thin. But I continued because "I can do ALL things". And I lost sight of why I was doing "ALL" things.
My husband Greg and I have very crazy schedules. Even now, with me being home due to recovering from my surgeries , there are still appointments to go to and tests to schedule. I like to have my husband at my side asking the questions I, in my temporary state of memory loss every time I go to an appointment, neglect to ask. His employer has been wonderful with adjusting his shifts to accommodate. Unfortunately, all this scheduling stuff has Greg's plate overflowing even more than normal. He is a blessing. Not only does he take care of me but he also takes care of everyone around him. He is mindful of his responsibilities as an Elder of our church, He also volunteers to help maintain the general upkeep of the church when he has spare time. I have to be honest I think he has a cape on under that orange t-shirt. This man can run on 4 hours of sleep and a 15 minute power nap. And even when he is running on empty it's still almost impossible to slow him down. Even when you try to plan an entire day of doing nothing (a.k.a "bedhead" day) it's difficult to take his "cape" off and power him down.
Yesterday was a prime example of a day in the life of my man stretching himself thin. We woke up and had a relaxing uneventful morning together. He did his normal research on the computer. And mid morning he went to bed in preparation for the evening shift. He woke up and prepared to leave for work. And just as he was leaving he noticed a gurgling coming from the bathroom. And his cape appeared out of nowhere. I watched this man of mine leap into action. He ran outside and and instantly became a plumber. Poked his head in the door and requested that I go upstairs and flush both toilets simultaneously. I looked at him and spread my arms. "I don't thing I have the wing span". I guarantee you that if he was home alone he would have figured out a way to flush all three toilets, run the dishwasher and do a load of laundry in the push of a single button. Yes, he is that good. However, the gurgling issue was placed on the side of his plate because he needed to go to work. An hour later he called and said that he arranged for help to come in the morning. But this wasn't enough for him. He still needed to try to solve this gurgling issue. And came home a few times to see if his ideas worked. And in the midst of all this he was also trying to help our daughter and son-in-law resolve a heating issue at their house too. I would like to say that it is by the grace of God that my husband has the stamina to get it all done.
I have been praying for God to teach me to rest in the palm of His hand. It's been one heck of a lesson for me. After being out of commission for over two months I think I am finally getting the gist of resting and being still. I promise you it wasn't an easy lesson. And this morning, as I reflected on the events of yesterday, I began to pray this same prayer for my husband. We both have this longing desire to serve the Lord. And often we are both too busy about stuff that it's no longer us serving the Lord but it us serving us. I don't think that Paul was saying that we are capable of doing everything when he wrote "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". I believe that I personally have been doing it wrong for a while. My initial intentions have been pure for the most part. But pride gets in the way every time someone offers help take a thing or two off my plate. And as a result of this pride thing I am completely outside of God's will. Pride distracts my focus. And it causes me to be blind to the "through Christ who strengthens me" part of Philippians 4:13. God sends us assistance when He sees we are overwhelmed.
I see this pride in my husband. Not in a bad way. But in a way that he feels that he needs to see it, whatever "it" may be, through to completion. If Greg says he is going to do it you can rest knowing that the task will be done. His plate is overflowing on a daily basis. He is a worker. He loves to be busy. And if there is one gift that I could give my overworked and busy husband it would be the "gift" of rest. I pray that God would give Greg and me the opportunity to implement and share another "bedhead" day. A "do-over" because our initial "bedhead" day didn't seem as successful as I had imagined. Greg was semi willing to participate in my crazy well intentioned idea. Our lives are crazy. And we need to remember the most important part of Philippians 4:13. It is only because Christ strengthens us that we are able to to all things. And if we trust that God has a plan and a purpose for our lives we should also realize that His promises are true. The Lord replied, "My presence will go with you and I will give you rest" ~ Exodus 33:14.
I pray that you are able to rest in the palm of God's hand today. And that as you go about your day and night taking care of all the things life has placed on your plate that you will take a moment to step back and reflect on Philippians 4:13 and Exodus 33:14. Try not to do ALL things without Christ. And remember that when you trust God to go through each task with you it will be a lighter burden. He wants to overwhelm you with His love and grace. He doesn't want you to be overwhelmed with the burdens of this world. He sent Christ to be our source of strength.