“Let all that you do be done in love.”- 1 Corinthians 16:14
I’m emotionally and physically exhausted.
We are on Day 5 of being up day and night with coughing, wheezing, breathing treatments, seizures, vomiting, crying, suctioning, pulse ox checking, wondering if we should be at home or at the hospital.
I was hoping to wake up with a different scenario and felt the irritation set in when I realized we were still down for the count.
As I was cleaning the girls’ feeding pumps, I looked up and saw this sign:
Let all that I do be done in love? Today, Lord? Really?
God, I can’t.
These were the thoughts that ran through my head. Watching our girls suffer during what would be a simple illness for most takes a toil on my heart. It brings out frustration in me that makes me want to hang my head in shame. The Enemy of my soul shrieks out despair-
“You call yourself a Christ-follower and you can’t even find it in yourself to be kind to other people when your kids are sick for a few days?”
“Why can’t you just get it together?”
“Are you ever going to be able to trust God with your fears?”
Over and over and over again, I hear these things- lack of sleep making it worse.
You see, this morning, when I whispered I can’t to God, He inaudibly responded back to me, “I know. But I can.”
Today, I want to speak two simple yet profound things to each of you for when you find yourself feeling as if you are unable to do all things in love:
- It is never you that is able to do anything in love.
What I mean by this is that only God can assist us in loving those around us in the midst of a broken and imperfect and disappointing world. We cannot muster it up within ourselves-ever- and when He says He’s strong in our weakness, He means it. If you are feeling like you can’t do all things in love- you might just be in a really good place. Only God’s Spirit within can cause us to choose love over hate, to respond in kindness versus irritation, to serve selflessly instead of throwing a pity party. Only He can make this happen- yet don’t miss this- He is fully able to do it!
2. If you are relying on His Spirit to love through you and you still feel like you can’t do it- re-think your list.
I am learning that my expectations for what my “all things” are is a little (sometimes a lot) out of reach. God doesn’t say, “Do all the things”- He simply says, “Let all that you do be done in love”. So for me, today, that looks like making sure my girls get as much fluid as they can handle through their feeding tubes. It means I don’t worry about what we are going to eat for dinner and instead, feel at peace with throwing some food together from our half-full pantry. It means sitting Ally and Bailey Grace up when they cough and helping them clear secretions when they need it. It means feeding myself and enjoying this beautiful bowl of oatmeal while I share some encouragement with each of you.
(Peanut butter oats and fruit? Yes, please.)
You see, if I ask the Spirit to lead me in all the above, I can take a deep breath and realize that through Him, I can do those in love. The house won’t get cleaned today. I might not get a shower. Dinner might not be the healthiest. We will probably spend a lot of time watching Disney movies and simply laying around- and that’s okay. I think God would much rather us make our lists shorter than attempt to do more in our own strength- only to find ourselves more and more frustrated.
Friends, my hope for YOU today is that you ask God to help you do all things in love- whether that list has ten things or two. And, if you find yourself anxious or irritated- give yourself the freedom to shrink that list.
He alone is able.
At all times.
In all things.
No matter what.
To Him be the glory.