That loaded word. It circulates through our day and drags us down into the trenches. It shortens our temper and pulsates our eyes. Exhaustion.
As a mom this word has become my new norm. It’s no longer that weird feeling but the daily feeling. Almost so that if I actually get a good nights sleep for several nights, where the feeling of energy and productivity are present without having to do a mental pep talk, I am shocked, surprised. I feel like shouting from the roof tops, “I feel AMAZING!” I find myself laughing with the kids and dusting off the madness of spills, tantrums and schedule changes. I listen to my husband and I get everything on my to do list done, it truly is amazing. I can’t say I have not had days like this, I have, which is why I can describe them so easily, it’s just not my “norm”. And that’s okay.
I am currently in a study that has me remembering who God is. Now that seems like a very vague and large box of theological jargon but the context in which remember is used, changes the whole meaning of this study. Zakar, this is the word. Zakar is the Hebrew word for remembering but not in the sense that we think of it. This isn’t remembering your grocery list or the millions of things to do today, this is remembering with action. Yes, action! So for instance, remembering to be kind and actually smiling at those who may frustrate you. Or remembering to not let anger overcome you, as Proverbs so wisely reminds us that fools turn to anger while the wise bring calm, and we actually hold our tongues. You see, the action behind the remembering is the kind of remembering God so obediently requests of us. So in this study I have done a lot of soul searching not only about who God is but who I am in God’s eyes. One of my favorite verses of all time, so much so it’s tattooed on my back, is Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. While I know this verse has been overused on every summer camp school bus and Christian book mark, the meaning behind it truly is worth glorifying. What I have to remember, or “zakar”, is that I was not created to be able to withstand all the frustration, hurt, anger and brokenness of this world. He always knew that our strength was not sufficient and that He would fill in the gaps. This is such amazing news. How many times a day do you feel defeated by your kids? Co-workers (who can often be like kids?)? Humanity? It’s truly a difficult time to be living in right now. The devastation alone is enough to bring any sane human to their knees crying for Jesus to please return and save us all. I watch these shows on TV that speak of social injustice, wrongfully accused brothers and sisters sitting on death row and our justice system that often sits silently. It bothers me so much that it keeps me up at night, leading to the original problem of this post, exhaustion. What can I do? How can I sleep at night and not take the nightmares of my fellow humans to bed with me? It all feels so wrong. So messed up.
So as I ponder the same thoughts in this post as I do when I’m trying to fall asleep at night, I’m forced to lay it all down. To place my worries, thoughts and even desires at the feet of Jesus. To tell him to guide me and help me to make an impact where I can. Obviously I can not pardon every wrongfully accused victim from the prison system, but I can write letters. I can speak up and make their stories known. Perhaps this was part of God’s reason for giving me such a vocal demeanor? (Super precious way of saying: loud mouth) Hmmm….still searching for all positive’s as to why I’m so damn opinionated and have a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I do pray for restraint. I do.
So I leave us all with this thought? What in your life is too big? Too hard? Too much? I encourage you to lay it before His feet. He is listening, He is answering. Even Jesus never gave a straight answer, well accept for the whole Love God, Love People bit, that was pretty cut and dry. But honestly, Jesus loved to speak through stories, parables. He loved for us to figure it out on our own. So many times, God is opening a door by placing a prompt on our heart. But because we tend to think, “that’s too big, too much” and forget that He will provide the strength, we pass it off as impossible. Let’s do this together. Take a huge deep breath in. Breathe out. You are here for so much more than you could ever imagine. Your impact on this planet is larger than a cubicle and more important than just being decent and good. Lets lay our plans, our questions before Him, allow His strength to wash over us and get to work.
Exhaustion, most definitely. This life wasn’t meant to be easy. But wouldn’t you rather be exhausted doing things that fill your heart with joy and purpose, rather than just doing the same ‘ol thing day in and day out with no zest or zeal for life?
So now I lay this verse before you, again, but I ask you to read it with how God wants you to ‘zakar’ it….”I can do ALL things with Christ, who provides me strength” Phil 4:13
Hang in there mommas, sleep may not come anytime soon…but the coffee is getting better! 😉
I give full credit to the bible study at Austin Oaks Church in Austin, Tx with Kat Cannon, for the life changing lesson on zakar. Thank you Kat, you are amazing.