Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Lightening the Load

My back went out this week. One minute I was talking to my friend on the phone; the next minute I was on the floor. God has been so kind in providing a good chiropractor whose adjustments along with persistent icing, rest and stretching have been helpful toward recovery.

This morning it occured to me that I must lighten the load in my purse. It's just too heavy, especially now that my back is on the fritz. How do we women manage to do that? We (at least I do) start with just the "necessities" in our bags, but somehow over time, we end up with everything in there but the kitchen sink. Please tell me I'm not the only one.

Nevertheless, it's time to clean it out.

The "spring cleaning" about to take place in my purse prompted some thoughts about this whole episode with my back and how it has forced me to "lighten my load" in other ways as well.
Within hours of falling to the floor, I had my schedule cleared for the rest of this week: cancelled dr's appointments, serving opportunities, even my weekly trip to the grocery store. Everything was wiped from my calendar this week knowing that I would need to do almost nothing but rest, ice and stretch to bring about the fastest healing possible.
And, there has been another effect of my back going out, another "lightening of my load" so to speak. I read somewhere (sorry..can't remember where or who wrote this), "Blessed is the thing that loosens our grip on earth."
This "affliction" has served to once again loosen my grip on earth, to remind me that I am not made to find my ultimate joy and satisfaction in the things of this earth, including my health and well being. It has once again lightened the load I can often carry around walking through my days, thinking that "load" will bring me joy.
God has indeed given us many gifts here on earth for our enjoyment. And, it is right for us to take pleasure in those gifts. I know for me, though, I can often derive so much pleasure in the gifts that I neglect pursuing my ultimate joy in the Giver. He mercifully "flattens" me at times to remind me to look up and remember the Giver of those many gifts. He reminds me that my ultimate joy will come another day, the day I leave this earth and enter into the place I was intended for, Heaven, to be with the Person I was created for, God.
It's not easy to have our loads lightened at times. When cleaning out that purse, don't we often hold onto things thinking, "I really need this and this and this..." only to discover we've not really lightened our load?!
It's not been easy to have my "load" divinely lightened this week. It's been hard not to serve my family in ways I'm accustomed. It's been hard and humbling to ask for and receive help doing things I'm used to doing on my own. It's been humbling to have to clear my schedule in order to solely focus on getting better. It's been incredibly humbling to be faced with my weakness, my needs and limitations.
But, I want to choose to see these things as God kindly "lightening my load", inviting me to come to Him for rest, take upon His load which is "light" (Mt. 11:30). What makes His load light? Humility, gentleness. (Matthew 11:29). I hope I'm growing in humility this week. I trust that is in part what God is doing through my minor affliction this week. It's loosening my grip on earth and growing me in Christ likeness.
How is God lightening your load lately?

1 comment:

krista said...

praying for you friend. thank you for sharing your struggles and how God is meeting you. such an encouragement and challenge to me.