“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 (NIV)
Last time we were together, I spoke about how God led the Israelites to the Promised Land and it was a fixer upper instead of move in ready. God didn’t ask the Israelites to go into the Promised Land without Him – instead He tells Caleb and Joshua numerous times to be courageous and not to be afraid and makes numerous promises that He will be there every step of the way to help them fight for victory.
While thinking about the above truths, God revealed another aspect of the Promised Land that I hadn’t thought about previously. I have the type of personality that pours everything I have into what I’m doing. Whether it’s being a wife and mother, working on our ministry, fulfilling the responsibilities of my two part-time jobs, or serving at church – when I commit to something, I’m all in. However, I’m realizing that I don’t have the stamina I used to have when I was in my 20s and I get tired.
I remember when I worked outside the home as a newlywed and then with two small children. When our second child was born, during maternity leave, I sensed God calling me to work from home and so for quite a few months, I worked double jobs until I could transition fully to my at-home position. Even then, I was running a full time, 50+ hours a week childcare business while studying to become a medical transcriptionist. At one point I was working 1st and 2nd shifts at two different businesses and as a result, life suffered.
When thinking about how the Promised Land isn’t a move in ready dwelling, I realized that it’s wise to conserve some energy for the sweat equity required of us when we get to the Promised Land. We can’t be so burned out that we collapse over the finish line and look forward to sleeping for a week straight. We need to have reserves so that we can begin the construction projects and see the demolition and repair through to the end.
I’ve started making that shift in my life recently. I’ve started exercising regularly, finding a work schedule that fits our family’s lifestyle the best, and taking time to relax, regroup and refresh – either on a date with my husband, reading a book, spending time as a family or with extended family or with friends in a weekly Bible study.
As the above verse states, God didn’t just promise us life but an abundant life. It’s hard to embrace an abundant life when we’re exhausted and need to sleep or if we wear ourselves out until there is nothing left to give. I used to live life as a sprint – always running hard until I wore myself out, then needing extra time to recoup before pushing myself to my limits once again. I’m realizing that taking time in the afternoon to go swimming with my kids or making sure our house is presentable but not necessarily magazine cover quality so we can watch a movie or go to the zoo are all good things. It helps me conserve energy for when I need to tear out some more drywall on the dream home God picked out especially for me.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016