“Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors?” (Numbers 11:12 NIV)
In Joyce Meyer’s Promises for Everyday Life devotional, she writes about knowing when you’ve reached your limit. So often, people take on a load that is more than they can physically bear, but in an effort to appear strong and responsible, they just stick it out and push it through. I know I am guilty of doing so. I try to take the maximum number of course credit hours, work the maximum number of part-time hours available for students given my availability, be active in church, be active in Sigma Phi Lambda, among many other things… like trying to fit in time for my boyfriend, family, and even a social life. Every day of the week, I am overwhelmed with so many different responsibilities and things I just have to do that I sometimes have a hard time balancing it all. It isn’t appropriate for me to complain or dwell on the stress, however, because I placed myself in this time-constraining predicament. I am an overachiever. I like to, or want to, rather, accomplish more than one thing at a time. Somehow, I feel as if I’m not being productive or not being the best I can be if I don’t work myself to my fullest potential.
In this devotion, Joyce Meyer reminds us that we can say NO. We do have limits. It is ok for us to give ourselves a break. She writes that God created some to take on huge loads of responsibility and others to take care of smaller tasks at a time. Even Moses was overworked and stressed with the heavy burdens of the Israelites. Even he had to stop and say “Hey, why am I carrying all of these loads? Why am I overworking and stressing myself out over their problems? I need a break.” And I think often times for many of us, we are too afraid to give ourselves a rest. We fear that we will delay our successes or accomplishments if we take some time off for ourself - that it is selfish, even, to consider doing something relaxing or enjoyable for once. And alongside that, I know for me at least, I have the tendency to think I can handle all of these things on my own. I don’t do a very good job of turning to God and asking for His guidance or assistance with all of the things I have resting on my plate.
As believers and as followers of Christ, we have to just stop what we’re doing and give ourselves a break. We have to release our sense of control and let God have control. After all, we are only human. And He is the Almighty. We may not be able to physically do everything, but He can.