It was a rare moment. Jackson was napping and I had my sleeping baby in my arms. We rocked away in my extremely comfy, over-stuffed chair and something magical happened- I started to fall asleep! In fact, I would like to state that I drifted off. It was a small Christmas miracle.
I was in a perfect rhythm, until I over-thought it. I over-thank it, and yes, I over-thunk my little Christmas miracle and it was over, just like that.
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever over-thought something and ruined it? Once I realized I was able to keep the rocking going without thinking and while practically asleep, suddenly the rocking motion became extremely tiring and I couldn’t do it anymore, not while sleeping at least. So much for that rare 5 minute snooze. It was over and I was annoyed at my failure to just sit back and let it happen.
Isn’t it the same with life? Sometimes we over-think things. We try too hard. We want to get better in a certain area, but it seems the harder we try, the worse we are at it. We want to be more patient with our husband and kids. We want to figure out how to stay on top of the endless laundry problem. We want to be intentional in our relationships. We want to serve God with passion and see lives changed for His glory. We want to juggle so many things and not let any of the balls drop, but when we think too much about it, we lose our rhythm, and abruptly the balls come crashing to the ground. We over-thank, or is it over-thunk? You get the point.
We’ve got to stop complicating things. We forget that the grace that first brought us into relationship with God can’t be gained and it can’t be maintained by us either- grace is God’s gift. How then do so many of us get caught up in trying to be “good Christians?” During the Christmas season, it’s especially easy to get caught up in giving to others that we can lose sight of doing it for Him. Should I give to every charity at every register? Every bell ringer? How many turkey dinners should I fund? How many loved ones should I buy gifts for? Should I do more? Should I do less? When we overthink, we probably aren’t allowing God’s voice to speak and to lead. When God is leading you to do something and you know it, there’s not much that can stand in your way. The key is getting in tune with God’s voice, but first we have to learn to recognize it.
I think God wants us to spend more time being with Him rather than doing for Him. He wants us to spend time leaning into Jesus, reclining next to Him the way The Beloved disciple did at the last supper table. We need to be spending so much time with Jesus that we start to become like Him, just like we start to become like whoever we spend the most time with. Little mannerisms, sayings, passions and values- I want Christ to rub off on me so much that I’m not even aware that these things, His things have become part of me- just like I wasn’t aware that I was rocking that chair.
God isn’t asking us to try harder, He’s calling us to himself and promises to work in us, to change us, to help us become better wives, moms, friends and more. There are seasons, growth takes time, and we are bound to mess up along the way, it’s no surprise to Him. I think He is glorified in our process of becoming when we learn humility, grace, patience and love, not just for ourselves, but towards others.
I think God wants us to spend some quality time at His table where we can better listen, laugh and allow ourselves to fall in love with the person of God. Our loving Father promises to finish the good things He starts to do in us, which means He won’t leave us hanging or give up on our tendency to fail. We should be overwhelmed by such unconditional love, love that is unmatched by anyone on this planet.
Our job is to come to Him in our sin and brokenness, to show Him the messy things that we may try to hide, the things He already sees, and to just sit at His feet, absorbing all we can from Him- He promises to work in us. Let’s not over-think.
“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Philippians 2:12-13
“Now may the God of a Peace… our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21