Over the past few years I’ve struggled with depression, anxiety, & feelings of being overwhelmed. In the past six months or so, I’ve slowly been feeling the desire to fight back, to crawl out of the burn-out hole I’ve dug myself into. There was a lot of inaction, stagnation, & procrastination (all the bad “-tions”) on my part for fear of what others would think of me, fear of embarrassment if I failed. There was a lot of fear of discomfort because of all the stress I have allowed myself to bear & even put my own self through in the past few years. It was easier to say no to everything for the sake of comfort & security. It was easier to not be generous with my time & money because I’ve had little of that to myself for so long…it was just easier to keep it to myself. It was easier to think “Just say no to [insertthinghere], that way you KNOW you won’t fail, & you can just sit at home & be comfortable, Emily. Yes, that will be good. You deserve it!”
But here recently…that ideal of comfort just wasn’t quite right…I could tell my spirit was just off…almost drying up. Sure, I could sit at home, not do anything except the usual 9-5, pay my bills, do my chores, save money, go to bed, wake up & do it all over…but for what purpose? A nice house? A nice yard? Two kids, a dog, & a white-picket fence? Maybe for you…but that has NEVER been my idea of a life well lived. My soul has always had a longing to just break free. Those other things are all nice, sure…but at the end of my life, much of it will just be temporary things that my kids/family/friends will give away, sell, or trash.
In all of this, God has been pushing into me the question, “I’ve given you this ‘talent,’ this tiny bit of eternity, this little bit of life…so what are you going to do with it…what eternally significant thing will you do with this bit of life while you have it? What am I worth to you?” He’s been pressing into me the feeling that I am just squandering something I’ve been given that is immeasurably priceless…not just for myself & my faith, but for others, & for God’s glory.
I was becoming that third servant in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30…afraid of failing God, so I just hid my everything, kept everything to myself so as to not lost a drop of security & comfort. When in reality…God has placed me in the place of the 1st servant…given SO much opportunity for my life…freedom of speech, freedom of religion, a secure home & income, a voice, a life, freedom to travel, food, clothes, an amazing family & friends…all these things…things I’ve been choosing to use for my own self, comfort, & satisfaction instead of using as tools & resources to invest & multiply for His kingdom.
When I taught, I used to fuss at my students…that they had SUCH opportunity, technology & knowledge at their fingertips that I didn’t have growing up…& they were squandering it on social media & games instead of becoming incredible world-changers. I would get SO frustrated. But now looking back, that makes me understand a little of why God got SO angry at that third servant. He was given SO much opportunity & he chose to squander it because it was easier…more comfortable, less scary, instead of using it to make much of his Master.
I don’t know that I have an answer to these questions & thoughts God has been growing in my heart & mind, but I’ve been praying on it hard. I’ve been looking for little ways I can start to make a difference daily- genuinely taking the time to pray for others when they need it, whether they asked, offered, or not. Taking the time to fill my mind with His scriptures, inspiration, testimonies of my brothers & sisters in Christ around the world, sharing my own testimony, even in little ways & daily conversations. All I know is I am SO tired of sitting on the sidelines. I’ve been given SO much & am doing SO little to share the Gospel & feed Christ’s joy, forgiveness, & freedom into the lives of others, while people in third-world nations are multiplying His kingdom like an explosion. I don’t know where God will be leading me through this…it seems big, scary, uncertain…but even more than that, it seems like a glorious adventure that I can’t wait to take part in…an opportunity to make much of God…a risk worth taking for an eternally glorious outcome.
So join me…what will you do with your little bit of life…your little piece of eternity…to make much of Christ?
“But whatever you do, find the God-centered, Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated passion of your life, and find your way to say it and live for it and die for it. And you will make a difference that lasts. You will not waste your life.” – John Piper, ‘Don’t Waste Your Life’