By Mary Donnelly
Feeling depleted, stressed, and exhausted should not be our norm. And yet, if you are like many women today, it seems to have become just that.
Sure, there will be seasons that demand that we live beyond capacity, but I believe there is, and I have personally experienced, supernatural grace for those times. God, however, gives us wisdom and prudence to be good stewards over all that He has blessed us with, and this includes our time and energy. We should not conform to culture and be fooled into thinking that living our lives at breakneck speed is necessary to being productive or to advancing His Kingdom. In fact, quite the opposite can be true.
Our lives should represent Jesus to the world around us, and being consistently overwhelmed, stressed, and worn out not only does not benefit us, but also does not attract people to the gospel.
It is certainly easy to fall into this trap in today’s culture, where “having so much on our plate” gives us a sense of validation and often approval. If you are accomplishing a lot or burning the candle at both ends, it is often exalted and praised.
God has given us limits for a reason. He created the Sabbath, which is a rest from labor, for a reason. He has invited us into the eternal rest of salvation, where we are saved by grace and not by works, and He also created us with a need to slow down, recover, and be replenished in body, soul, and spirit as a constant reminder to us that we are fully dependent on Him.
If there is no room in your life to spend time with your Creator, to enjoy His beauty and creation, to invest in relationships, to ponder, wonder, and dream, then perhaps it’s time to reassess how you spend your time.
Just as in your financial budget, you have a finite number of waking hours in any given day that you need to “budget” and steward wisely. If you live beyond them, you are living on borrowed time, becoming bankrupt. God loves you so much that your mind, body, and soul will start to send you signals when you are moving into this depleted state – but it is your choice to listen to those signals or ignore them.
When we get into financial debt, we have those overwhelming feelings that cause stress, sleepless nights, worry, and anxiety – and if we are living beyond our capacity, we will have a deficit in our soul that will look very much the same.
One of the benefits of living debt-free, financially, is that you can give and invest in whatever God calls you to, and you are no longer enslaved. You become less stressed and more relaxed. You are pleasing God with good stewardship and there are natural blessings that come with that.
The same is true for your soul. Live beyond your capacity and the wisdom of God-given limits, and you might miss how the Spirit is moving. You might be too tired, edgy, or moody to recognize His prompting, or too busy to slow down and meet a need He puts in your path.
If your family, spouse, or children are getting only your leftovers (what is left after you have spent yourself on “Kingdom” work) or your deficit, then perhaps you have lost sight of what Kingdom living is about.
Steward well the resources God has given you in every area of your life and see if it does not allow you to live in true freedom! And how attractive is that to the world?!
Mary Donnelly is a follower and servant of Jesus, who is the love of her life, along with her husband, Frank, their three wonderful children, and their grandchildren, who are their sheer delight. Her prayer and her quest is to be transformed into God’s image more and more each day. One of her greatest pleasures is studying God’s word and applying it to her everyday life. She is a woman who knows what it means to live in captivity, bound by fears, lies, and her own brokenness, but she rejoices today because she is also a woman who knows what it means to be set free! One of her greatest passions is to share God’s truths in a way that will shine a light to another sojourner on the pathway to freedom.