Thursday, April 27, 2006

Encouragement from Above Rubies

"I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all; but whatever I have placed in God's hands, that I still possess."-Martin Luther

This evening I was feeling a bit dispondant about life and moaning about how I dont have any spare time and life is such a chore. The kids put on their musical of the Phantom Of the Opera and that cheered me up. But when I came online to check my emails I had an email from the Above Rubies magazine which was just what I needed to hear. I felt very encouraged by it. Above Rubies is a free magazine for Christian mothers and it is very inspiring. Here is the email...

Matthew 28:30, "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
When God told the Israelites about the new home He was taking them to, He said, "The land, into which you are entering to possess it, is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you used to sow your seed and water it with your foot like a vegetable garden. But the land into which you are about to cross to possess it, a land of hills and valleys, drinks water from the rain of heaven, a land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning even to the end of the year." (Deuteronomy 11:10-11 NAS)
They could not rely on the rain from heaven in the land of Egypt. They had to do all their irrigation by hand, or I should say, by foot, for this is how it was done. They dug man-made channels for the water which they forced along by wheels operated by their feet. It was hard laborious work. It was a daily grind. They didn't have to do this in the Promised Land. They relied totally upon God to send the rain to water the crops.
Egypt is a type of the world. It is a type of walking in the flesh and doing things by our own energy. This contrasts to our new life in the kingdom of God where we walk in the Spirit and trust God instead of our own resources.
How are you living each day? Are you still living back in Egypt, or are you basking in the rest of the Lord? Often mothers feel that their life is a daily grind, with no joy or hope. They are living like the Israelites were when they were slaves in Egypt. But we are no longer slaves. We are free people, saved by the suffering and shed blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross. He died to deliver us from relying upon the flesh.
"But don't you realize the financial difficulties that we are going through. I have to work this extra job to help my husband pay all our bills." Has God asked you to take on your husband's responsibility? Or are you taking on this yourself?
"But don't you realize how many things I have to do? I'm pregnant! I'm homeschooling my children. Plus I am involved in this Ladies' group at church and I'm also helping with the Sunday school." Who told you to get involved with these extra activities? Was it God, or was it pressure from people? Many times our life becomes a daily grind because we take on things that God hasn't told us to do. We cannot live our lives by what everyone else wants us to do. We must be led by the Holy Spirit.
God promises in Isaiah 40:11 that "He gently leads those who are with young." If you are pregnant or have little children, God does not expect you to be involved in anything else, apart from your mighty and divine calling of nurturing and raising your children for Him! He doesn't expect you to be involved in extra church and other activities (except for your commitment to meeting with the saints each week.)
"But don't you realize that I have to take Susie to ballet lessons, Grace to violin lessons, Johnny to soccer and Brian to baseball, as well as keep up with the home and everything else." Who told you that you have to take your children to all these lessons? Did God? Or are you trying to keep up with the Joneses who think that their children should be involved in everything that is going? We often think that our children will not make it in life unless we take them to all extra lessons and sports. That is not true. God is able to make a way for your children without putting extra pressure on your life and gadding about in the car everywhere.
"But don't you realize? I have to make my children finish the lessons I have given them for the day. I have to get this done and that done." Who said you have to do this? Is it what God has planned for the day or what you are setting? Are you teaching your children what God wants them to be taught, or what you think others expect of you?
Life is hard work, but it does not have to be a grind. It will seem drudgery when we do it in the energy of the flesh. God wants us to live according to the Spirit. The Israelites worked in the Promised Land, but they enjoyed their work, because they were cast upon God's resources, not their own energy. They no longer irrigated they way they did in Egypt. They had to rely on God to send their rain.
Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)


Tammy said...

That really was inspiring, thank you for posting that. It's funny, how we come upon these things, just when we need them the most. We are all put in each others lives for a reason.

Sheelagh said...

Thanks Hazel.... I needed that too!!! Very encouraging.