As I sit here this morning, thinking through my plans for the day, I wonder how I’ll be able to do all the things I need to do, much less the things I’d like to do. And, while the feeling that there’s just no way to do it all isn’t new to me, I have to admit it’s heightened by the fact every day I feel (and look!) more pregnant.
But, more than items on a to-do list, I know there are things I don’t just want to DO…there are things I want to BE. And, some days, I just don’t know how to be them all. Things like: a joyful, energetic mother who is fully engaged with my children. That might be me for a few hours lately, but by the time my older child gets home from school, all I want to do is take a nap…and truth be told, I need to. So, how do I balance it?
I want to be fruitful. Not filled with apples and oranges, mind you…filled with the fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22). But, the first fruit on the list is “patience.” Come on…I just have to stop there some days. I also want my life to produce fruit like John chapter 15 says it should. But does it? Am I able to?
Well, one of the things God’s word says about me is this:
“I can do ALL things through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
Seriously? All things? Well, let’s start with being a joyful mother. Paul wrote that verse (Phil. 4:13) in the middle of talking about being joyful in any circumstance. So, tired motherhood must not be an exception. Patience? Well, the thing about patience that it’s a fruit of the spirit….not a fruit of me. So, if I will allow his spirit to fill me, patience will be an end result.
But, therein lies the key…being filled with his spirit. John 15:5 puts it this way:
“I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.”
Oh, so maybe I should start by going back over that to-do list with God to see what’s actually on his list for me? And, while sometimes, my quiet Bible study time just “has” to wait for my baby’s nap time, the first few hours of my day would probably begin better if they began with Him more often.
So, what else does scripture say I can do through Christ? Here are just a few things:
- I can follow through on good intentions. You know the ones…a feeling you should invite a friend over for coffee, take a family dinner sometime, send a note of encouragement to someone…things I often think of doing but seldom actually do? Well, Philippians 2:13 says that it is God who works in me to will AND to act according to his good purposes. Look, those ideas very often come from him…and if he gives you the will to do something, I firmly believe he will give you the way.
- I can stand firm in faith. Y’all, this is hard…and I believe without daily filling from his spirit it is nearly impossible. But….Ephesians 6:10-14 says: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in HIS mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s evil schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”
- I can do the things God has called me to do. Sometimes it’s hard…strike that, very often it’s hard. BUT, “God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 2:9)
- I can do things I never dreamed of. Y’all, sometimes just doing the dishes seems like a miracle to me, but God has even much more than that planned for his people. Things we never imagined we could do. Think about the words Christ spoke to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these….” (John 14:12) Greater things than these??? Jesus could raise the dead, make lame people dance, heal the blind, feed the hungry….it boggles my mind, but oh, how I want to believe it! So, those things that he puts on our hearts that seem too big, too crazy or too hard don’t seem so impossible now, do they?
So, my prayer today…for me and for you…is this:
“And we pray this in order that you might live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every good way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of lights.” Colossians 1:10-12