Maybe you can relate. Maybe you woke up this morning and the air was crisp and the blankets felt great and your heart swelled with joy. Maybe you woke up with a laugh on your lips and a song in your head. Maybe you were able to give the cutest kids a hug and kiss your dear husband goodbye when he left for work. And maybe, maybe, you thought to yourself, “today is a good day.”
Then, maybe, maybe, piece by piece the joy was stripped away. And suddenly you felt colder than the air outside. Or maybe it felt more like one tiny stone at a time being laid on your shoulders, light at first then heavier and heavier.
You knew they were stacking up, but you put your head down and moved forward any way. Maybe you flinched every time a new stone was dropped and you felt the tension reaching your ears but you ignored it thinking, “there’s simply too much to do.”
And now, its mid-afternoon and you wonder what happened. Where the joy went. Where the peace went. Where the laughter went. Where the song went. You know this isn’t a feeling another cup of coffee can fix (although it wouldn’t hurt), so you try that first. Then it, too, grows cold.
You sit to breathe in the last bit of oxygen you have and then you cry. Because, with the little energy you have left, that seems the only thing left to do.
Then your phone.
That buzz… it irritates you now.
You reach for it just to shut it off but the words on the screen grab your attention.
Just the one you needed right now telling you just what you needed to hear. You cringe at her reminder because you knew it all along. The tears don’t stop but your heart softens and you decide that she is right. She didn’t know it, but she is right.
"He just wants to hear you."
The only thing left to do is pray. That’s what you forgot today. You forgot where it all starts. It all starts with Him. The joy you woke with this morning came from Him, but you didn’t thank Him for it. The song He sang to you this morning was a gift, but you didn’t thank Him for it. The children and man you kissed this morning are your calling, but you didn’t ask for His strength to serve.
What you saw as stones were meant to be more.
No, all the right emotions don’t come back. You are still disappointed that another day was stolen, snatched from you by the enemy. But as another dear friend once said, “the water is only still in the valley.” And so you decide to take a moment to rest in the valley, to thank God in the valley, to ask for strength while in your valley.
Each little demand of your attention, each little act self-sacrifice, each time you had to correct, each spill you had to wipe, each tear you had to dry, each diaper you had to change, each meal you had to prepare that wasn’t your own, were stones on your shoulders; but they weren’t meant to be. These were meant to be steps. Better yet, offerings.
What you saw as stones were meant to be more. Yes, they were meant to be offerings. Maybe now you can stand, brush the stones from your shoulders and move again.
Because, no matter what this world tells you, this life is not about you. It’s not about what you can gain or what you can earn or what you can create. It’s only and always about what you give to your Creator. In giving is the greatest form of rest. In service is the greatest form of joy. In death is the only true life.
So, tell me, maybe you can relate?
“My child, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments; for length of days and years of life and abundant welfare they will give you.
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