Have you ever reached the end of yourself? You know if you have. It’s the place where you know you’ve got nothing. Where what’s asked of you, no matter how small is large. Whether that be to meet w/ a friend, empty the dishwasher, complete a workout or even pray. It doesn’t matter. When you reach the end of yourself, everything is work.
I reached this place last year. Ever a fixer, my response was to do some intense and long resting at the first opportunity. So, during November and December of 2010 I did just that. I hibernated, I rested my body, rested my schedule, caught up on home, caught up w/ Robert. Then I rested some more.
Remembering that I’m ever the fixer, the fixer then determines that the goal is to NEVER get spent like that again. But to conserve, to manage my time, energy – physical, mental, spiritual, to pace myself . To make sure I’m never spent again! So, I set myself up to do just that in 2011.
Come March the fixer assesses the situation. I determine that I’m doing a pretty darn good job of sticking to the plan. Saying no, getting rest, keeping more balance, getting and staying focused, etc. Conserving my energy. Not spending everything. Yep, I conclude this is good and I’m kind of proud of myself for this.
Then, God shows me something BIG about being spent and spending and turns my approach totally around!! The lesson comes in a few phases over a few days but it is a big, wonderful and reassuring lesson. It doesn’t reverse what I’ve learned but adjusts and corrects and takes me to the next level in understanding God’s ways.
I follow Louie Giglio on twitter. In early March, he posts something along these lines, “I am spent from the ministry last night. Sweetly spent.” The words sweetly spent leap off the computer screen. Sweetly spent? This means that Louie is exhausted, spent – probably physically, mentally and spiritually. He seems to be happy about this…why? Then, God teaches the lesson.
He says, “Let it go. Fill it up. Let it go. Choose wisely how you spend. Don’t fear letting it go. My Son gave all and I raised him from the dead. Spend yourself for me, wisely and I promise to fill you back up so you too can spend again.”
Wow. God’s ways are not my ways. I am to enjoy being spent. Don’t resent it. Don’t push through it. Allow the spending to happen and then allow God to refill me in body, mind, soul and spirit. Don’t hang on. Let go!
I love Simon Peter. He is my absolute favorite disciple. Why? Because I think I’m alot like him! One of my favorite passages is when Jesus keeps asking Peter if Peter loves him. Peter, frustrated, keeps replying yes. By the third time Jesus asks, Peter says, this, “Lord you know ALL things. You know that I love you.” Jesus, replies, “Then feed my sheep.” Oh, how I love that Jesus kept asking Peter until Peter started to realize how much he loved Jesus. Jesus didn’t ask a question he didn’t know the answer to. Jesus asked a question that Peter didn’t know the depths of his answer to!
My devotional (Oswald Chambers classic, My Utmost for His Highest) on this day, with this story as background said this, ” It is impossible to weary God’s love and it is impossible to weary that love in me if it springs from the One Center.”
Bam. God shows me again that I am to spend and then He shows me the parallel even deeper by reminding me of the financial budgeting principles I learned in Dave Ramsey’s course, Financial Peace.
Ramsey says that when you budget you spend your money. Now, I don’t mean that I just spend it to spend it. But, if I’m sitting down to budget $3000.00, I should budget it all. Allocate some to saving, some to tithing, some to bills, etc. Spend all $3000.00. I do this each week when I budget. It works.
God is saying, like I budget my money and spend it wisely, and spend it ALL..I’m to spend ALL of me..next step..
I prepare a budget for one week and allocate (spend) it all. But, I know that next week, I’ll have new/more money to budget and next week, I will again allocate (spend) it all!
Ah…I get it. Spend TRUSTING that God will replenish when I spend according to how He leads! God has kept Robert and I in a position financially that has required us to trust. I’ve wondered why He chooses to do this. Now I know..because learning financial trust, which I’m getting better and better at, has laid the ground work for trusting God to spend me in His service and know that He alone, can and will replenish me! Just like He alone, meets all our financial needs.
A few years ago, I was reading a Beth Moore book and she compared being a candle to an oil lamp. A candle burns itself up as it burns. An oil, lamp merely needs to have the oil replaced and it doesn’t burn itself up.
In 2010, I spent all of me. In my heart, I thought I was spending myself wisely, I truly did. But I was spending me, the best way I knew how. God needed to let me get to the end of me so I could let me go. So, I would know just how little I had to spend!
Now, God is telling me to look to Him for ALL my spending directions. How I spend everything – money, time, energy, emotions, commitments. Everything.
If He directs my spending, then He will direct my replenishment. Then I am not spending myself…God is spending me. This year, I will let God spend me. Fear in this? No, He spent His Son for me. He replenished His Son by raising him from the dead.