I drag myself out of bed this morning, wishing my body would respond a little more energetically. Frustrated before my brain even fully wakes up, I’m too awake to return to sleep and too sleepy to want to get up. Ugh. I’ve had this lingering oppression for weeks now and I’m weary. I glance around at all that is needing to be done and I’m tired before I even get started. I fix my coffee and prepare to have my quiet time but I can’t hold back the tears any longer. What am I missing? What is it that I need to do to change things? What else do I need to pray?
“Just sit with Me.” That’s all He says. So I sit with Him and I cry out my undefined frustration.
He gently reminds me “You’re doing it again.”
“You’re looking at all that needs to be done, not only in the small circle of your home and family, but in the whole world and worrying about what you need to be doing. You are even bringing this into your relationship with Me. You are worrying that you don’t pray enough or the right way or with the right motives, and you think that things are not changing because you’re missing something. Be still and ask Me again: “What is my part?”
It’s a simple question. Unless you are an overachiever and a perfectionist. Or you’re more of a Martha than a Mary. Or you are easily influenced by your desire to please. Or you are deeply moved by the impulse to meet the needs of others. Or you’ve never taken the time to learn how to hear God. Or your life doesn’t seem to be going where you had anticipated it would. Or you’re “doing” all the right things and it doesn’t seem to be working.
Jesus came to earth to show us how to live in unbroken fellowship with God. Here was how He did that:
…I tell you, the Son is able to do nothing of Himself; but He is able to do only what He sees the Father doing, for whatever the Father does is what the Son does in the same way. John 5:19
…I do nothing of Myself (of My own accord or on My own authority), but I say [exactly] what My Father has taught Me. John 8:28
He only said what the Father told Him to say and He only did what the Father told Him to do. He did His part. Jesus didn’t respond to the pressure others tried to put on Him to be who they thought He ought to be or do the things they thought He ought to do. He many times didn’t even respond to their questions or provocations. And God expects nothing more and nothing less than that from us – do only what He says to do and say only what He says to say.
It is simple, yet I find myself here again – yielding to my internal pressure to perform rather than tuning in to Him to find out what my part is. And once again humbly admitting that it is my pride that thinks I can make anything happen on my own.
I watch the programs about the starving children and I want to do something. I hear the reports of persecuted Christians and I want to do something. I read the book about what it really means to be a disciple and I want to do something. I hear the message of deeper prayer commitment and I want to do something. And before I know it, I am frustrated in all my doing because I didn’t stop to ask Him what He wanted me to do.
I cry out for His instruction – “Tell me what to do and what to say!” and when He says “Be still”, I am surprised.
Perhaps you are in a waiting season, also, and you find yourself fighting with yourself that surely you should be doing something different, something more. Maybe you, too, are an overachieving perfectionist Martha who is worried that you are not praying the right words the right way in order to affect your world.
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. John 15:5
Join me. Let’s sit with Him and relax, confident that He will tell us what to pray, what to say, what to give, and what to do. If we do this, we will bear much fruit and it will change our world.