Your spiritual gifts are not accessible through your own strength, but through your faith in He who provides them. - Jarrid Wilson
I’ve written a lot this week about my feeling of depletion; I’m giving of myself to others without taking time to fill up again. I’m teetering on a fine line between God using the gift He gave me (encouragement) and Satan exploiting said gift. Get thee behind me, Satan, because I REFUSE to let you win!
It’s one thing to feel compassion for people and want to help them. It’s another to act as though I’m their only help. I’m exhausting my God-given gift by using it on my own terms. I’m not fully allowing His gift and His name to be glorified. And, ultimately, He requires all the glory.
When I try to encourage, love, and speak Truth into someone’s life
without ever asking the Creator of the Truth to enter into the
encouraging, loving, or speaking I’m working on my own strength.
Though I can now lift 12-pound dumbbells with each string-bean arm (holla!) my own strength has nothing on His strength. My weakness was so very real Sunday evening into Monday. I realized Sunday evening late, after the 4-5 days of pouring and pouring, that I would be useless the next day. I semi-explained my situation to my boss and went to bed thinking I’d sleep in and wake up Monday refreshed; a new day full of new blessings.
It didn’t work that way. Though I spent all day Monday listening to praise music, reading Scripture, and praying (all seemed like the Christian things to do to refuel) my entire being continued to feel empty. As a person who struggles with depression, I felt myself slowly sliding into it.
- I got out of bed around 10 and felt sluggish.
- I sat on my porch begging God to replenish me.
- I began reading Psalms.
- I tried to relate to the Psalms.
- It wasn’t working so I started reading a spiritual book.
- It wasn’t working so I thought maybe a run with praise music would work.
- And so on …
- And so on …
- And so on …
I wrote Monday about my feeling of depletion and many of you checked in to encourage me which was so kind. But, in Bible study Tuesday I admitted to my gal pals that I know I’m not being intentional in separating the God-given gift from the Satan-riddled exploitation.
Why? Because there’s a part of me that likes knowing people come to me when they have problems and need encouragement. Like many of you, I’m always wondering if I’m enough. I find value in you wanting me.
And in that slip from He to me I’ve fallen victim to Satan’s snare. No wonder I feel depressed. I’ve walked out of God’s plan and into my own again. Even though my intentions were for the good, by taking on feelings that weren’t mine to own I’ve taken away the value of the cross.
Jesus died on that ugly, retched cross at Calvary so that I would bear no sin. Not a one. He also died on it so I’d carry no sadness, no pain, no evil ugliness of this world. He died for me to be light and free from sin; to connect me to His Heavenly Father forever.
But, I’m not just called to be light and free (though I do enjoy skipping through wild flowers). I’m also called to be an active participant in the furthering of Jesus’s Kingdom. I’m called to love on others.
- I’m built to wish you happy birthday 49 times.
- I’m built to listen to you cry about someone who’s broken your heart.
- I’m built to mend fences and help you see all sides of a story.
- I’m built to love your sister & her pain because her pain is your pain and your pain is my pain.
I’m built to love on you and be better to you than you are to yourself. I see things in you that no one else sees. It’s such a gift to see these things and love you no matter what. But, I was never meant to carry your burdens further than to the throne. And that’s where I kept falling short.
I kept messing up until Tuesday morning. The previous night I’d gotten two more bits of sad news that could’ve yielded yet another day of sadness. Instead of doing those Christiany acts to reap Godly benefits, I went straight to God. No pomp. No circumstance. Just messy me.
I laid every single burden on my heart at His feet. It took a while because I named each of them and visualized myself setting them at His feet. When I was done, I imagined myself crawling into God’s lap and being cuddled close. I took time to be with Him and feel His arms around me.
You see, praising Him, reading about Him, talking to Him are awesome actions. They’re part of a daily walk that keep us in communion with each other. But, until I gave God all I was holding I couldn’t rest in Him. There’s not room for Him to act when I’m pulling all the strings.
So, the burdens still come to mind, but they rest at God’s feet now. The fine line between God and Satan always remains while we’re in this world. It’s part of our daily living. But, when we recognize evil and refuse to let it enter our situation, we get another Kingdom victory!