Several times this week I have been at the absolute end of my rope. I have thought to myself I can't do this anymore. I can't get up and make breakfast when I feel so wretched. I can't listen to another whine when I am worn out to the absolute threads. I can't think another thought or plan another plan when the shroud of misery is suffocating me. Life can be so disparaging at times.
My chair is my refuge. In it I curl up, listing all the reasons that I can't go on. I'm alone. Brian is working late, again. My mother is busy working and barely able to visit me. When she does, I know she is unhappy and worried. My sister is a single mother of four, she has no time to help. My friends are all exhausted mothers like myself. I am alone.
I don't know what I need. That thought further annoys me. Not only am I grasping at proverbial threads and running on fumes, but I don't know what I need. I don't know what kind of rope could pull me out of this pit. I don't know what to ask for even if I knew who to ask. I'm lost, adrift in a churning sea whose dark waters will soon engulf me.
Motherhood is so hard. Marriage is hard. Life is hard.
I'm glad I have God with me. If I didn't have Him I know I would give up. My strength runs out, His endures. My nature is full of pompous self worth, but He is truth incarnate.
Whenever I am at the end of my rope I always read Luke 17:7-10. Nothing puts me in my place more than those few short red sentences.
“Will any one of you who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, 'Come at once and recline at table'? Will he not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me, and dress properly, and serve me while I eat and drink, and afterwards you will eat and drink'? Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.'”
Three things stick out to me. First, “serve me”. My goal on this earth is to serve God. Through tantrums and marital fights. Through sleepless nights. Though housework and drugery.
Through cancer or blindness come my way, still my ever present thought should be...to serve God. Even through the loss of a child, or the loss of a loved one. Serve. God. Not complain. Not give up. Get up and do the purpose I was created for. Serve.
Second thing that sticks out to me is my own inflated self worth and how important my own comfort is. I am an unworthy servant. It's so true. Nothing I did secured me a place in heaven. I can do no good without Christ. Jesus shed his blood and God wrote my name in the book of life. Those things cause me to go to heaven. If my own life were of any weight it would only condemn me to hell. Jesus paid the price for my sin and only by that act can I be redeemed. Yet how quickly I sneer when my comfort is jeopardized. I must don the mantle of servant and contemplate my own unworthiness. Only then can I truly know what it is to be the bride of Christ.
The last thing that grabs at my heart are the last two words. “Our duty.” What is my duty? I like to remind myself of my duty when I get lost. Pointing myself in the right direction helps clear the mist and re-orientate my wandering compass. My duty is to Christ and Christ alone. My job here on earth is to glorify him. And that means wiping poopy bottoms, making meals, disciplining my children and loving my husband. It also might mean dying of cancer or dying in a car wreck. It may mean loosing my sight or the use of my arms. But it does not ever mean giving up my joy or forsaking my community with Christ. I am here to do his duty, but my flesh is weak. God knows what is best for my life and dishes out his will to us. But I so often, in my humanness, think I know better than God. And that is where the problem begins. That is the very foundation to my frustration: I, the servant, at times, try to usurp my master's will. And there is no peace, no joy, no fulfillment in a life run by own measures.
Tomorrow I will wake up, and upon my lips will not be the curse of drudgery or a sigh of discontent. But the beat behind my steps and the melody of my head will burst forth only one mantra: “Serve God. Do my duty. Be a servant.”