Recently an event occurred that forced me to re-evaluate my modus operandi. Up until this point, something that God decries as sin was something I carried around as a badge of honor. Keep in mind that I have been a professing Christian and a student of God’s Word for over three decades, and, yet, this insight revealed to me that I had been paying “lip-service” to many of God’s directives. Like these:
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls..” (Matt. 11:28–29)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6–7)
Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. (Ps. 55:22)
In modern terminology, we are directed by God’s Word to cease from stress. Yet, how many women who manage households have made stress a component of their day-to-day lives? In my case, I prided myself on my multi-tasking abilities and determined that burning the candle at both ends was part and parcel of my service to God in my calling. This concept is not unique to wives and mothers. Students learn to do this early on when the goal of the grade supersedes the directives of Scripture.
The verses cited above are not suggestions for the weak and unorganized. They are commands delivered in the imperative to all of God’s people. The net result of ignoring God’s clear directives can be seen in physical and mental ways. In my case, it was a trip to the ER and the revelation that I had had a heart attack. At first, I was certain a mistake had been made. My initial thought was: Andrea doesn’t have heart attacks. My disbelief came from the fact that diet and exercise are regular components of my lifestyle. The “ah-hah” moment came when I realized that I had been growing this situation for years and years in the area of stress. I had not taken the “be anxious for nothing” to mean nothing.
Obedience is the principal thing in every household of God. God means what He says in His Word. All of Scripture it is delivered to us for our good and His glory. Ladies, we aren’t doing God any favors when we decide we can carry our family’s educational, financial, social, and interpersonal burdens on our own, compromising on the necessary rest our bodies and minds need. Psalms 127:2 tells us that
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives to his beloved sleep.
The more we disregard the necessity for resting physically in His completed work, and attempt to be the superwomen He never intended us to be, we will come face-to-face with an unpleasant day of reckoning.
This is not a call to abdicate the high callings of wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. Rather, it is a call to value these things so much that we pursue them in obedience to all of God’s law, which includes a season of rest (Sabbath), and remembering that the King we serve has told us, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matt 11:30).