For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: (Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV)
Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:4-6 ESV)
What might these two verses have in common? Well I hope you will see from the title that it is about balance in life. I honestly didn’t think that “balance in life” was a specific topic in scripture so I binged it and found a list of scriptures that speak to this topic.
I once had a conversation with a strong Christian about Mother Teresa and how she worked tirelessly and expected those with her to do the same. She seemed to have no sense of balance in her life. This lovely Christian asked me, “Where in the Bible does it ever say we must have balance?”
Now I know and I hope that you will see it too.
A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight. (Proverbs 11:1 ESV)
But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:30-33 ESV)
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. (Mark 6:30-32 ESV)
Balance. Being in a good place physically and mentally does require balance, rest, good nutrition, feeding on the Word of God, communing with Him, abiding in Him. This doesn’t mean that all of your circumstances are going to be easy and fun. This doesn’t mean that your children will obey your every command. This doesn’t mean that you will always have seasons of life where all of this is possible.
What it does mean is that you need to rest in the LORD – that you CAN do regardless of your circumstances.
It is a learned skill, I will admit. We are not naturally bent toward a good balance in life. Many tend to be sloths, others tend to be work-a-holics. Neither of which pleases God. Jesus gave us a good example in the story about Mary and Martha. Mary, who sat at the feet of her Savior, chose what was better over business and working to serve others in our own strength.
I know that on most days, if God has not filled me with His peace and His Holy Spirit first thing in the morning, I am not fit to be around other people! I will ride the struggle bus all day long fighting with my attitude and physical ailments, unable to be a blessing to anyone let alone an effective witness for Jesus Christ.
Jesus calls us to come away to a deserted place – this means not with your friends, not with your children, not even with your spouse. Deserted. Where you may rest and where He may minister to you and restore you so that when you are with others you have a well of faith to draw from. A quiet place where you can be still and where He can speak into your heart and mind. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. Don’t fill your life with busyness that does not produce fruit. Be content with what you have because we have Jesus, we have His great promises, we have our salvation and eternal life with God.
You don’t have to say yes to every request. Ask God what He would have you do. You don’t have to attend every fellowship, every Bible study, every event that comes your way. Recognize your need for rest in the desert place. Come away with Jesus. Sit at His feet for a while. Release your anxiety and accept His peace. Be encouraged today. Press on!
For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13 ESV)