Empty Cups & Unplanned Hiccups
I've heard it alot. From different ministries I've worked with and volunteered with, from various people in church, school, work, life in general... "You can't pour from an empty cup." And I agree. It's true. You can't. In fact, I read that quote on someone's feed today and bowed my head saying "amen, sister." Then I hear the talks about self-care, taking time for yourself, and taking care of yourself. And I also agree to some extent.
When we do get that cup filled up though, it often seems like no time before we hit an unplanned hiccup and pour our finally-filled cup out onto our laps. Ughhhhh. I can already hear it in my head. Again? What's up with all this, God? Don't you want me to have peace?
So often we depend on mental-health days, sick days, self-care days, times of stepping away to fill us back up. Nothing wrong with that, trust me, I feel like I need them often. But here is when it becomes a problem... when we can't step away, when we can't have those days and we have to sit and simmer in the stressful situations, the difficult circumstances, and painful conversations without running away for a quick break. What do we do then? What are we to do when we can't run away any longer and the pain and dryness follows us to every get-away we try to take? There is a need for more than a break. A need for more than facials, long drives, beach views, and lazy days. Our souls are in need. We are ever in need of a Redeemer.
We need Jesus. We desperately need Jesus. Not Jesus aside from or outside of difficulties and trials, but in the midst of them. What we need is Jesus, every millisecond of every day of all our lives, in the good and the not-so-good, in the celebrations and in the trauma, in the cherished relationships and the ugly, messy ones too.
We need Jesus in all of it.
The other week specifically I remember having one of those nights I was overwhelmed with how unqualified I felt for my position in life. I was overwhelmed with ugly conversations, frustrating responses, and unknown outcomes. I read my devotionals and my Bible and I journaled. I looked at my little Pinterest self-care checklists. I laid in the bath with "calming lavender bath salt" while sipping on ginger tea and munching on a bag of popcorn cause I realized the chaos made me forget to eat all day. And still, it wasn't cutting it.
And the Holy Spirit ever so gently reminded me... Hey Child, you don't have to do this alone. You were never made to do this alone.
So maybe you're in a similar place of life, where it seems like you can't catch a break and the responsibilities just feel overwhelming, circumstances and relationships seem overbearing and strained, and your feet and heart are blistered from pure life. And if so, that's okay. It doesn't have to keep being this way. We can lay our burdens down at the feet of the only One who can truly carry it. Will we still have to make decisions, have hard conversations, and face difficult days? Absolutely. But the good news is, it's not all on you, friend. Let Jesus not only refill your empty cup after every hiccup, but let Him help you carry your load too.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30