One of my favorite choruses repeats the refrain, “My Life Belongs to You.” It is sung with a West African beat and plenty of vibrant dancing. Yesterday as we were singing, the power of those words hit me hard. Does my life really belong to God? Completely? My time? My family? My everything?
What about when “my” schedule gets all messed up because someone who I was not even expecting to meet needed my time. What about when “my” finances are channeled to a friend’s medical need? What about when “my” personal space is infringed on? When “my” plans have to change? Does everything belong to God then?
In the middle of the night on Friday, I let out a shriek, followed by, “No way; I can’t,” stated out loud. I had gone through a very busy week just trying to stay afloat, and then remembered while turning over in bed that I was supposed to preach on Sunday morning. It had been agreed on earlier, but somehow had escaped by mind for the whole week. Despite my objections, my dear husband just confirmed that I was the one who had to do it and went back to snoring — no choice in the matter. (Aha; he is very good at pushing me out of ‘comfort zones’ over and over. When all is said and done, I usually thank him ).
So, by God’s grace, I did it.
So many times, I could allow myself to ‘go under’, refuse to serve, find excuses, give an explanation for why I cannot do this or that, cringe, complain… the whole spectrum of strategies to protect my time and resources. But closer analysis usually reveals that whatever I am trying to protect apparently does not really belong to God.
Please do not misunderstand. I am not ignoring the reality that we need to set boundaries and need to know when to say “no”! I just find that often those boundaries are more self-preserving than self-sacrificing. Jesus should be our example.
My encouragement today: Stretch yourself. Make a sacrifice. Do something that you KNOW you cannot do (as long as it is directed by God). Or maybe it is time to ask God for “an assignment that feels insecure, uncomfortable, stretching and foreign. It will grow your faith and trust in Him,” as our friend Steve recommends.
“He who saves his life will lose it, but he who loses his life for my sake and the gospel will find it.”