Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. –1 Chronicles 29:14b
I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.” –Psalm 16:2
As promised, we’re using the same two verses from last week to continue our discussion this week. One point of these verses, as we discussed, is to start acknowledging to a new degree that all of our gifts come from God — and that loving God means using what He’s given us (tangible and intangible) for His glory, not our own.
But these verses are also making a point about our limitations. There will always be people you can’t help and needs you can’t meet. If you spent every second of your time for the rest of your life working non-stop for others, you’d barely make a dent in even the local needs around you.
Our response to this fact, however, shouldn’t be despair, shouldn’t be to throw up our hands and do nothing since we can’t do it all. Instead, this fact should bring us to our knees. We can’t handle all the problems around us, but God never intended us to.
Oftentimes when we feel overwhelmed it’s either because we’ve taken on more than God wanted us to or because we’ve taken on the wrong things. The number and scope of the needs around us shouldn’t paralyze us, but it also shouldn’t turn us into misguided Marthas.
Instead, we should seek God’s guidance: Where is it, God, that you want to use me? Maybe you’re not supposed to contribute a coat to this coat drive or give any food to the food pantry this week. Maybe God is more interested in having you spend more time with your neighbors. And maybe that’s because He wants you to find out what their materials needs are and help meet them – or maybe it’s because He knows that their real need is having someone to talk to.
I don’t know the specifics about what God wants from you. But He does. And I do know that He doesn’t want us making these decisions – in either direction – based on what we feel up to.
The needs around us are overwhelming and our instinct to help is good (and thus from God). But God promises us His strength to do His will, not our will. We shouldn’t be surprised when we make our own decisions and then don’t have His strength to meet our commitments. (Or when we use all our strength to meet these commitments, and then, having used all our patience on others, snap at our kids and our husbands.)
This isn’t to say that what God asks us to do is never overwhelming; I think that, at first, most of what God asks us to do is overwhelming. If it’s His will, though, He will equip us. (But that’s a topic for next week!)
For today, ask God what it is He wants you to do with your time, talents, resources (all those things you listed last week). You might be surprised by the needs He knows about that you never would have thought of!
Read the next post –> (becoming) a prayerful volunteer: the necessity of “no”
Want to read more?
Here’s the start of the stewardship series: (becoming) a good steward: “mine, mine, mine?”
Are you a worrier? Then you might enjoy this post: (becoming) less of a worrier
Interested in discussions about how to be a godly wife? Check out the Wife Series: (becoming) a more godly wife: why won’t he . . . . . . ?
Want to go deeper in your walk with Christ? Click here for the start of the Fully Submitted Series: (becoming) fully submitted
Still basking in the glow of the Christmas season? Click here for the start of the Christmas Posts: (becoming) peaceful