When I’m running, especially with the stroller, I have this tendency to really conserve energy. I pace myself – I don’t push myself. I just kind of run where it feels like I can handle it. I think that subconsciously I worry about putting the kids in danger if something would happen to me – and, let’s be honest, I’m just not a fast runner. 🙂 So I try to maintain some semblance of a reasonable mile time and leave it there.
It’s tempting to do this in other areas of life as well. There have been a few situations lately where I’ve had to consciously choose to invest thoroughly, pray completely, and pour out everything I’ve got – because my tendency is to hold back just in case. Unfortunately, though, I can’t be the wife and mommy that I need to be if I do it halfheartedly. I have to be willing to give all and trust that God will bless my efforts and refill me when I’m at my end. He’s been bringing this to my attention in various ways lately; most recently this morning when I read in Luke 7 about the woman with the alabaster box. This isn’t the first time I’ve written about this passage, and it probably won’t be the last. This is such a concise, vivid depiction of giving everything, without fear or regret.
“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.” (Luke 7:37-38)
She was willing to be poured out – not only materially, but also emotionally. She was exposed, and probably exhausted. But she was doing it in faith – trusting God to, in turn, pour out His forgiveness and blessing.
It’s like in Malachi 3: “Bring ye all the tithes to the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
And in Amos 5, again – this idea of seeking God, and being poured out for the One who, in turn, pours out for us: “Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: the LORD is his name.” (vs 8)
This work we’ve been given to do is really wearing. But God has put me here, and you there, to be poured out for those around us and for Him. “as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10)
It’s terrifying, but I have seen His faithfulness… so I know that if I keep running, He will give me strength. And it will be worth it.
Grant, along with his brother Todd and my brother Seth, plan to leave Wednesday evening for Barra Vieja. Please pray for their safety, for strong Spanish, and that God would work mightily in the little church there.