John 14:16-21; 25-28
16 I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”….25 “These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. 28 You heard that I said to you, ‘I go away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved Me, you would have rejoiced because I go to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
A year or so ago my mother and I had a little dust up. I had been ridiculously busy “adulting” as they call it these days. Distracted by the demands of being the mother of four, wife of one and working full time, I had not called or returned calls for a while. I was in a foul mood and if there is one thing I have learned about myself, it’s that when I am in that head space, I have nothing nice to say about or to anyone. So I didn’t talk to her.
Momma being Momma called me out on it. “You can’t put people on a shelf, Sarah. You will turn around one day and they won’t be there. Stop being a martyr and look outside yourself for a change.” Needless to say I hung up the phone with my nose out of joint and an even worse mood. How could she say that to me?! She never had four children, a husband with retail hours AND a full time job! She had no clue what I was up against and she wasn’t even trying to understand. Everyone needed me and was making demands on my time and energy. I was indispensable around here and she would just have to deal with the fact that I didn’t have anything left to give. She would live.
Guess what? No one is indispensable. Our physical bodies make that very thing impossible. Jesus in his physical form understood that he had limits. He could not stay forever and be everything to everyone all the time. His physical body had to leave the planet and allow God the Father to send the Holy Spirit in order to meet our overwhelming demand for a Savior and Guide for life.
My arrogance and pride led me to believe that I was so essential that my world just could not function without me. Things wouldn’t get done or would get undone or would fail without my amazing presence, wisdom, and energy. How foolish!
It has become abundantly clear to me over the last month that the world spins whether I am here or not. Things get done. People survive. My sweet family managed for a whole week while I was taking care of Momma without me even having cell service. Granted, laundry was in a precarious state when I got home but I’m sure they would have handled that too. The office didn’t shut the doors and stop ministry because I wasn’t at my desk. They even managed to do my job for me! Who knew?!
So I have taken two lessons from this. #1. Pride is a deceiver. Not only will it make you think you are much more important than you are, it will rob you of your ability to rest. So often we buy this lie that we are critical to the operation of the world. We force ourselves to press forward and do more and more when we should be stopping. We should be resting and healing and allowing others to do more.
You know the saying “Pride goes before the fall”? I’m pretty sure the fall happens because we push ourselves so hard that we collapse face first in a heap of humiliation and exhaustion.
Lesson #2. Only the Spirit is indispensable. Only the Spirit restores, renews and empowers us to do even the small pieces that we can. Only the Spirit has the peace and rest we need and only time with the Spirit will make all that happen. We cannot allow others to impose the title of “indispensable” on us. We have to lean into the Spirit and discern what is really ours to own and let the rest pass. We have to set a timer on our life and give ourselves the room to tend to our spirit, physical body and emotional well being.
I guess that’s what all of you were saying a few weeks ago when you said, “Give yourself time.” ” Be kind to yourself.” “Get rest.” You were reminding me (in a much kinder way) that I am not indispensable.
I encourage you to do the same. Be kind to yourself and rest in the Spirit.