Friday, August 9, 2013

Frayed Edges

Do you ever feel like you're frayed around the edges?  This hosta plant on my back deck started the summer with beautiful green leaves, but somewhere along the way -- whether from too much sun, too much heat or too little water -- the leaves became frayed around the edges. 

Sometimes, I feel like I get frayed around the edges from too much to do and too little time -- I become what I call, overwhelmed.  At such times, I remind myself that many women have far more to do and far less time than I do to accomplish what is needed -- yet, I still feel frayed.  I also remind myself that many people have far more responsibilities and burdens than I do and far less resources to handle their needs -- yet, I still feel frayed.  Yes, there will always be people who are far worse off than we are, but that doesn't mean we don't need a bit of rest and encouragement ourselves.

I believe the biggest reason my edges fray is not just that I'm overwhelmed, but rather that I'm trying to handle things in my own strength and not taking the time I need to "be still" and know that God is God and He is in control of all things.  I get so wrapped up in trying to take care of things that I don't take care of my spiritual needs and such neglect will inevitably mean frayed edges.

Sometimes I feel like the verse in Psalm 55:6 is what I long for:  "Oh, that I had wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest."  I think we probably all have those moments.  But, rather than run away from our responsibilities and burdens, we grow stronger when we let God water us with His love and provide us with just the right amount of sunshine and shade -- that He would protect our leaves from the fraying affect of attempting self-sufficiency. 

God wants us to depend on Him and be aware that it is His strength working through us that gives us the ability to do what needs to be done -- with joy and peace.  When I become frayed around the edges, I need to pray with the Psalmist, "Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me..Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me" 51:10-12.

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