I’ve discovered that when I’m too busy with too many things, I turn to God for strength. He is faithful to provide it, but there is so much more of God that I’m missing out on. There is a relationship that only comes when I am still with Him, when I dig deep into His presence. I love this quote by Henri Nouwen:
“So we try to do more while our energies ebb away and we become like uprooted trees with our roots wildly groping for the sky. Thus we anxiously throw our arms toward heaven, praying for extra grace and special enabling, when instead we should be planted again in nourishing soil. That soil is not meant to make us do less, but to change our priorities so that we take time to be still. And in the stillness, find new strength and hope.”
When we say “no” to busy things, we say “yes” to the best thing—time with God.
And when we have time with God, He is able to direct our priorities. He will show us what is vital, what is important, and what can be cut. God will guide our answers to the requests that come our way. He sees things with an eternal perspective and can help us do the same. Sure, we may get kudos from others when we work our tails off, but wouldn’t you rather get kudos from God?
When we first adopted, our family’s only weekly commitments were work, school, and Sunday church. It was a good feeling. The kids went to bed early, and John and I had time to connect. We were still in the “adjustment” time with the new kids. Everyone needed this time to adjust to being a family without the busy-ness of life getting in the way.
Have faith that God will direct you toward the priorities that align with His.
During that first year, I was asked if I would serve in the toddler Sunday school class over the summer. I quickly answered no. I knew for that season, I had my priorities of our adopted kids and our vacation travel. It wasn’t until an hour later that I asked my husband if I had answered too quickly.
“No, I’m proud of you,” he told me. “You know what’s important, and you told her you could help in the fall.” Because I’d spent time with God, He directed my priorities. I’d answered—not out of selfishness, but out of an understanding of what He’d called me to; bringing children into our home and helping them heal.
I used to be the worst at saying “no” until I realized the greatest “yes”—Jesus.
I no longer feel I have to be the person everyone else can count on. Instead, I strive to be still before Jesus and make sure He can count on me as I count on Him.