In a Perfect World

I have been struggling with what to write today. Recently it's come to light (at least within my field of view ;~) ) that I really struggle with wanting to make everyone happy. Everyone except myself. I've been talking with friends (both on line and "real-world") about my struggles. I have a friend who just had their 3rd child. The husband's income is not quite enough to break even, but now with childcare the wife cannot afford to work because her income does not cover the costs, and family is unable to help out. Another friend who, well I will just say, does not have a perfect marriage. She struggles to be heard, and it is my opinion that her husband is not living up to his Ephesians 5 obligations. Other friends who want to get out, and stay out, of debt. And many many more. I want to help each and every one of them, not to mention every charity that calls me, or that my heart is tugged for. Habbitat for Humanity, the local missions house for homeless men, Cancer research, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Purple Heart, Autistic research, and so many more. But it is just not possible. And I've allowed my limitations to dictate how I see myself. There was only one Man who was perfect, and he did not heal everyone who was sick. He had compassion and healed so many, many people. But not everyone. This mystery is profound. But more than that I need to recognize that I am a finite being. With my friends I can come alongside and pray with them. I can listen to them, but I need to know that I will not be able to fix everything. Only God can do somethings. And I need to rest in the reassurance that He will use all things for His glory. With my family, especially my wife, I need to know that I am first and foremost responsible to be a good Husband and Father. And in that too I will not be able to fix everything. I cannot prevent my children from being picked on in school, or be there to catch them when they fall off their bicycles all the time. I can only show them how and then coach them as they go through life - and eventually release them to fly on their own. When interacting with my beloved it is hardest. We are "one flesh" and I have given a vow to love and to cherish her until "death do us part". When I see her in pain - as I have recently - and to know that I cannot just fix her pain, distresses me to no end. I want to give her a perfect home. Free of worries. One where I never disappoint her and just exude Christ's love for her. And I fail daily. But God is good. Recently a friend asked me, "what do you do for your own enjoyment?" He was not asking me to seek out selfish ambitions and to forgo my obligations, but what am I doing for my own health? He helped me see that in order to be a better husband and father I sometimes need to take time for myself. Even Jesus took time to be alone and pray to His Father. Even though I am not that Man, I can do something to get alone and rest. I relearned an old lesson. To be a good leader it is important to die to yourself, but in order to be good leader you have to take care of yourself or else you will never be able to fully take care of those entrusted to you. Verse for today: Matthew 14:13-21 esv Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

1 comment:

ALP said...

This weekend at church the sermon was on sin and man and not being selfish but loving yourself. You have to have relaxation, time alone, rest and recreation or you are not honoring God because you are not taking care of His home within you.

I am praying for you and your family.