I’ve passed the half way mark of summer vacation with the kids and have started to feel like a toy with low batteries. Some days, dead batteries.
I wanted to make all the kids happy, give them a fun summer, give others and their kids a fun summer. I said “Yes” a lot to invitations, and reached out to people to make plans. And crowding that same plate was the stuff that might fall into a “personal ministry” category: volunteering, praying with and for people, long conversations about spiritual things…
Writing this devotion…
But I have become so deeply, terribly tired. Even hearing my phone buzz for a text makes me anxious. Suddenly realizing how bad off I had become, I stopped to pray yesterday and ask the Lord for help. I asked Him what, out of all of these things, I needed to drop.
In response, I saw a picture play out in my mind: I was a tired superhero hanging up her cape. Laying down the burden to answer every call, fill every need, be everything. And the twist was, I understood that I had been putting on that cape mistakenly – like Bolt the super dog, I didn’t actually have super powers. No wonder I was burnt out: as it turns out, I’m only human…but taking on every need around me anyway.
It wasn’t one particular thing I needed to stop doing, it was a way of seeing myself that needed to stop, or rather a new way of seeing myself that needed to begin.
I asked Him to show me what He would give me in place of the cape (it’s a pattern for prayer I use sometimes, what to let go of and what He gives in place of that thing). And I saw myself again, this time as a sheep being gently led by the shepherd through green pastures to quiet water.
God is caring for His sheep. All of them. Me, you, your kids, my family… I don’t have to take that job on myself. Jesus is superhero enough for the world. And when He wants me as His sidekick, I know the Spirit will call (and equip me!). But He’ll always be the one doing it, always the sleepless one watching over this city.
Do you overspend yourself caring for others or the world around you? What do you need to entrust to the Shepherd today? What do you need from Him yourself? Read Psalm 23 and picture yourself as the sheep, and Jesus as the superhero shepherd guarding you and the whole flock, the whole world…
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:10-11