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All Those Lives

 

I took this picture from the vehicle as we were traveling into Northern India in November 2015. Most of us could never lift even a sack of this grain - let alone pull this huge load like these skinny oxen are doing and from where I was sitting - it looked effortless. When my load feels this big, Jesus tells me to give it to Him - it is not too much for Him to carry. He is standing ready to take it. The crazy thing is how we give it to Him and then find ourselves taking it back again and struggling into exhaustion.

I took this picture from the vehicle as we were traveling into Northern India in November 2015. Most of us could never lift even a sack of this grain – let alone pull this huge load like these skinny oxen are doing and from where I was sitting – it looked effortless. When my load feels this big, Jesus tells me to give it to Him – it is not too much for Him to carry. He is standing ready to take it. The crazy thing is how we give it to Him and then find ourselves taking it back again and struggling into exhaustion.

 

Two lives – at least.

God designed us to live one life.

There are two ways of thinking about that.

We are born.

We live until we die.

Or

We live one life at work one at home and another . . . {you fill in the blanks}. The other life is the one we live at church.

Living two or more lives at once.

No wonder we are tired.

Constantly stepping from one life into the other is exhausting.

Changing the way I speak. Changing the way I act. Remembering what Janet rules apply to which life I am walking in at the moment.

Exhausting my friends.

One day I realized what was in control and it wasn’t me. It was a desire to fit in.

I fail(ed) to recognize how God created me to be different. Why do I want to be like everyone else? Why can’t I live at peace with myself. Why do I generate a competition in my own heart. Why do I fail to live by the scripture that tells me how God created me to be unique.

God – You are holy. I am not.

Why do I forget the way You live in me. Why do I forget how it feels to be so close to you? What am I looking for outside of a relationship with you that distracts me and makes me foolish – choosing to please the world and looking for acceptance there when I know the most incredible place in the world is walking with You?

James 1:27  Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. ESV

I want to see the world through Your eyes Lord! I really do! I want to see the widows and the orphans and the brokens and the sick and the hurting. The ones with habits that destroy. The ones with hangups that keep them and all in their world sick. The ones with pain so deep there seems to be no life left in them.

Romans 7:17-20  But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can’t keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions I obviously need help! I realize that I don’t have what it takes. I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. The Message

Digging for answers from God causes me to examine what’s going on in me – not what’s happening around me.

This quote from Richard Rohr sums up what has to change within us. “We don’t think ourselves into a new way of living; we live ourselves into a new way of thinking.”

It’s practice. Deliberate. Purposeful. An action.

Peace that brings rest is elusive.

When I depend on myself.

Join me in making a conscious effort to seek the bigger picture – the one leading to loving God first, combining all our lives into one –  seeking to reduce the noise in our lives and the rules dictating separation of what life expects of us. Let’s move it all into to one column. Remove the laws of the world. Add the love God showers us with and move into a world less cluttered where rest is found.

In closing I want to leave you with this beautiful scripture – one that consistently comes to mind in my struggles with this every day.

Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” The Message

2 Responses to “All Those Lives”

  1. Cindy Mathes says:

    Janet- You have always inspired me and continue to do so. I admire your faith and how you step out of comfortness to take on really hard things. I love how your honest sharing really says the exact things that so many of us feel. Without even knowing, you touch my heart and help me grow. I am grateful for you.

    • Janet Reeger says:

      Thank you for reading Cindy – I’m truly grateful for the community we are blessed to be a part of – one that can be real and one that can encourage – I appreciate you and your family so much!

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