Are You Juggling Too Much?
An overstuffed purse slung over one arm, a toddler back back pull of diapers, wipes, games, books, sunglasses, snacks over the other, a bag of school supplies to donate in one hand, a to-go lunch under one arm, keys in the other hand attempting to lock the door, and then my two-year-old hands me her cup of milk to hold so she can hold on to the railing going down the front porch steps.
I reach out to take it.
The bags slump down my shoulders and everything tumbles to the ground, including the milk. At least my daughter made it down the stairs safely!
What would have happened if I said, “Please hold it. I have too much to carry right now”?
The two-year old might have protested a bit, but I wouldn’t be complaining under my breath trying to clean up everything and setting a bad example for my daughter. She would have learned patience, and I would have carried what I could handle.
God never gives us too much temptation to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13), but He does give us more than we can handle so we can learn to give some burdens to Him. The question is, should I be the one making the decisions to handle more, or should I ask the Lord? There is always time to ask God before making a decision.
What Should You Do?
In Judges 20, the Israelites were at war against each other. The Israelites asked the Lord who should go first the to fight against their brothers, the people of Benjamin, and the Lord said, “Judah shall go up first.”
The Israelites were defeated in battle the next day.
The people of Israel asked God if they should go up against them again, and God said “Go up against them.”
They were defeated again.
The Israelites wept and fasted and offered sacrifices. The Israelites asked God if they should go fight their brothers a third time, and God promised victory the next day. The Israelites may have lost a few battles, but they won the war. The point is, even when they were faced with a difficult decision and multiple defeats, they humbled themselves and continued trusting and asking God for guidance.
The Israelites didn’t go into battle without inquiring of the Lord. When faced with a major decision, we cannot have victory without:
- Asking the Lord to go ahead of us
- Asking the Lord if this is something we should take on
- Trusting that He will bring the victory in His own time
Sometimes, the Lord says, “yes, take it.” Sometimes He says “not yet” or a straight up “no." Either way, when you pray, know that the Lord is going before you. Please don’t think that you’re the only one whom the Lord has equipped for every job at the church or school or workplace or home. He equips the called, and with prayer, He will raise up workers for His harvest (Luke 10:2). It’s His work, and you’re His worker. You don’t need to do it all. You can’t do it all. Rest in that freedom.
If Someone Throws You A Ball
If someone throws you a ball, you don’t have to catch it. If someone hands you a cookie, you don’t have to eat it. If someone signs you up for an extra volunteer duty, you don’t have to do it. You can drop the ball, you can say, “thanks but no thanks” to the cookie, you can take your name off the list. It’s okay to drop the ball, to not catch it at all!
There was a point in life when I said, “yes” to everything, and when my daughter was born, I said, “no” to everything. Now, my hands are a little less full. For the first time in two years, I have a bit of reserve time and energy and can start saying “yes” again. But before I can say “yes” to things in life, I have to say “yes” to the Lord of life. He will go ahead, He will equip, He will bring victory. He didn’t design my body for juggling, but He did give me knees to bow, ears to hear, a mouth to pray, and arms to throw the ball back up to Him.
Reflect And Respond
- Are you feeling overwhelmed? Ask the Lord to take your burdens. He might in turn ask you to say "no" to some commitments so you can commit to Him.
- Do you feel like you're the only one who can do a certain job? Pray to the Lord to raise up fellow workers for the harvest.
- Do you feel like a failure? Maybe you're depending too much on yourself. God doesn't want you to do it all. He wants you to be His child.