The endless expressions… burning the candle at both ends, running me ragged, spinning my wheels… to try to encompass what we have as the average life situation for the American. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, this week is a perfect case in point. Getting ready for a trip out of town, basketball camp, county fair for the 4-Hers in the family, an 18mo old, and other normal life situations like meals and baths and bedtime routines that make life busy for a mother enough as it is!
Busy-ness burnout! We all have it. We use the checklists and look for advice on how to prioritize on endless blogs. But realistically, how do we keep on keepin on? How do we burn the candle at both ends and not, well, DIE! The easy answer is we don’t. Inevitably we all die. The better answer is “hope in God”.
Ecclesiastes is all about the hopeless futility of living. How ALL things end up in the same place, all people toil in meaninglessness, all things die. Yet even the author of this “hopeless” book gives us a glimpse of what we are working for. There is a time for all things… God’s has purposes for EVERYTHING! (By the way, that’s really what that book is about. Read it if you haven’t!) Even the fourth tantrum of the 3 year old this morning! Even the laundry pile that never seems to get smaller no matter how much you fold! (How does that happen?)
So let’s look to Philippians where Paul shares with us a winning secret. In verses 11 and 12 of chapter 4 he says: I have learned the secret to being content, while well fed or hungry… The great secret is Christ.
The gospel is sufficient for all things! Jesus Christ came, lived, died, and rose again because we were painfully separated from God and only he could bring us back through his sinless life and sacrificial death. When we are facing epic burnout… Jesus. When you can’t think straight anymore… Jesus. When the baby won’t stop crying… Jesus. And not just “Jesus” in the cliche sense, but as a reminder. Because he suffered we are able to have fullness of life. As an example. He had the worst of it, we can do it! As fully human he has been where we are and as fully God he promises to help us every step of the way. So how do we keep on going even when we want to just throw in the towel? Not just pulling up the proverbial bootstraps and getting back in the game. Eventually even bootstraps break. But, because Christ has been here before us. He is going through all these mundane things with us. And as long as we look to him, we are growing into more of what we need to be for his glory in the future here and eternally!
The beautiful song “In Christ Alone” is a perfect reminder of this.
“In Christ alone my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song. This corner stone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love? What depths of peace? Where fears are stilled, and strivings cease. My comforter, my all in all. Here in the love of Christ I stand.”
May we all stand well in the power of Christ for every moment of our days. Let his strength be our strength and his power be seen all the more perfect in our weaknesses. All to the glory of God, even the struggle to keep that candle burning…