Life is crowding in. You feel out of control. You don’t know what to change.
Busy is your life.
It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it? The zooming and racing and frenzied pace. Longing for time to slow and breathe and actually enjoy the moments.
We find traces of it: a moment of rest or an activity that distracts our minds from our to-do lists and responsibilities. We breathe deep and wonder why more of life isn’t like this. We are working so hard to build a life while failing to find the time to actually live it!
Busyness isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but we must ask ourselves, are we busy doing the right things? What are the motives behind what we are doing? What are the attitudes of our hearts?
Psalm 127:1 reminds us, “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain.” I don’t know about you, but for me, that verse is pretty convicting. How am I spending my time? Where am I pouring out my energy? Are my priorities in the right place?
This verse hit me full force when our first child was born and my husband and I were making the decision whether or not I would stay home with her. After much prayer and consideration, we felt very strongly that though our decision didn’t make sense to many around us, God was calling me to be home. It was a huge step of faith for us, but we knew that if it was God’s will, He would provide. When He calls, He is always faithful. He equips, and He provides.
During that time, this was a verse I returned to often. Through it, He reminded me that I needed to trust Him to build our home, which often meant not doing things the way the culture around me did.
The same is true for all of us.
Whether it’s decisions about working or staying home, how we educate our children, the discipline methods we use, or how we spend our money (to name only a few), those choices must not be made on the basis of how we were raised, what others around us are doing, or even our own understanding! These are choices that must be bathed in prayer, sought in the Word of God, and surrendered to God’s plans and leading!
“Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain … In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for He grants sleep to those He loves” (Psalm 127:1-2 NIV84).
He grants sleep – rest – to those He loves!
Sister, we can cease striving and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10)! We can trust Him!
- Do you need to choose fewer hours at work so that you can spend more time with your spouse or your children?
- Do you need to eliminate a routine or say no to one commitment so that you can be obedient and say yes to another?
- Do you need to re-evaluate how your family spends its time?
What is God calling you to do?
Whatever the choice before us, we must be intentional and purposeful, following God’s leading and walking by faith.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV84).
Do you feel burnt out, overwhelmed, and maybe even a little bitter? Could it be due, in part, to anxious striving?
We need to look at our activities and examine our motives for doing them:
- Is it out of obligation?
- Is it to gain approval?
- Is it to achieve success?
- Is it out of fear or anxietyt?
Verse two of Psalm 127 is translated in the New American Standard Bible as “…He gives to His beloved even in his sleep,” which many commentators agree is a better translation based on the context.
What huge implications for us! God can do more for me if I trust Him while I sleep, than all that my anxious striving can produce while I’m awake.
“If God’s power is made perfect in our weakness, then surely we may believe this psalm that when we hand over our anxieties to God and lay our heads down in peace, God works with all his might through the night on our behalf” (John Piper, “Don’t Eat the Bread of Anxious Toil” 1980)
My challenge for each of us today is to re-evaluate our schedules and re-examine our priorities. Are we obediently following God’s leading, or are we rising early and staying up late in vain?
Where God has called, He will equip.
Seek Him and obey. Walk by faith. Nothing else matters.
Who is building your house?
Question for You:
Are you spending your energy in the right places? Are there any activities you need to eliminate or add to your life? Where is God calling you to obey by stepping out in faith and trusting Him?