OVERLOADED AND OVERWHELMED?
When Marcy and I bought our first
house, there were two huge peach trees in the yard. One day I
noticed that these trees had sprouted hundreds of peach
blossoms. Visions of peach cobbler started dancing in my head.
In a couple of weeks every blossom was replaced by a
marble-sized peach. A couple weeks later they were golfball-sized.
A couple weeks later, they were still golfball-sized. Then they
Despite our high hopes, we didn't get a single peach worth
eating that year. We had watered the trees and sprayed for bugs,
but we had failed to do one vital thing.
We hadn't pruned the trees. As a result, the nutrients
absorbed by the roots were divided among too many branches. Lots
of branches. No cobbler.
I relate the story because it provides an interesting picture
of our lives. Are we like unpruned trees or pruned trees? Are we
dissipating our energy by dividing it in too many directions? Or
are we focusing on a few important things so that we can be
fruitful in the things that matter most?
God is Not the Overloader
In Luke 10:41 we find Martha scurrying about, feeling
overloaded and overwhelmed. Finally she complains to Jesus. His
answer may have surprised her. Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, you
are anxious and troubled about many things; few things are
"Our heavenly Father," observes Charles Shedd, "never gives
us too much to do. Men will. We assign ourselves an overload,
but never the Lord. He knows what He wants from each of us, and
there is plenty of time in His day for things essential to His
plan. We do Him a grave injustice when we fall into the habit of
compulsive overwork. We sin when we pressure out His wishes for
assignments that have not been filtered through divine
Elisabeth Elliot says, "I wrote to a friend, telling her the
things on my roster for which I needed her prayers. It was a
long list, more than I felt I could possibly accomplish.
"'Thy list be done' is what I'm praying for you these days,"
she wrote back. It is a good prayer for a disciple to pray. I am
all for making lists of what needs to be done (and I am
exhilarated by checking them off when finished!). But the lists
must be reviewed daily with the Lord, asking Him to delete
whatever is not on His list for us, so that before we go to bed
it will be possible to say, 'I have finished the work You
gave me to do.'"
In every day there is always enough time to do the perfect
will of God.