As I sit here on my couch, listening to the dishwasher for at least the second time today and finally taking a moment for myself, I am reminded of the importance of community. You see, my husband travels for work periodically, and when he does, it is usually for the majority of the week. If I only had to worry myself with my own schedule and appointments, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. However, I also have two kids under 4 to attend to, Bible studies to lead, people to pour into, a teaching job with students ages 7 and younger, and other roles and responsibilities that involve other people. I love all of these many hats that I wear, but, as I’m sure you can relate to, I’m mainly the giver in the roles. To add to it, when my husband is out of town, I feel like I have to give even more. It’s quite exhausting and easy to make excuses to isolate myself, mainly to try and get a nap. Oh, sleep. Sigh. *one day*
That’s what most women tend to do and be. We give. We help others because they have a need. We pack lunches, clean up after events, offer to bring a dish to a get-together, etc. We are around people all day long, giving everything we have and everything we are in order to see other people become better. It’s part of who we are as women, but also who we are as leaders. In the midst of our giving, we can become drained and exhausted until we get that moment to sit on the couch and only listen for the dishwasher. The consistent and lulling dishwasher.
Peter writes in 1 Peter 5:7-9 “Cast all your anxiety on Him [God] because He cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering.”
In those moments when we are drained from giving and serving, we need to cast ourselves onto the Lord and fellowship with other believers who will lift us up and help us in our times of need. Have you ever watched National Geographic and seen how a lion hunts? The lion surveys the gazelles and determines which one is the weakest and can get caught. Then, hunting with other lions, isolates the weak gazelle away from the herd in order to pounce, destroy, and devour. The lion doesn’t go after the strongest, nor is there chance of catching everyone in the herd. Go for the weak and isolated for dinner.
How encouraging is God’s Word! We know the enemy’s attack style and know that we are not the only one he is trying to go after. You are the leader. Everyone is a leader in some capacity. You can lead your kids, your friends, your community, etc. If the devil can get you discouraged, the rest will follow. Satan wants you to be weak. He wants you to rely on yourself. He wants you to tell yourself, “I may be tired and overwhelmed, but I got this. I can fake it ’til I make it. Nobody has to know.” However, if you take a moment to regroup yourself, share your suffering, tiredness, and anxiety with God and other followers of Jesus who are also seeking the Lord (very important to share with other believers and not those other lions hunting with the devil), the enemy cannot isolate and destroy. We can claim Christ’s victory! We have community with other believers, and when we gather with others, Christ is there, too. (Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I [Jesus] with them.”) We can enjoy the peace of Jesus’s presence, even after a long day of giving and waiting for the dishwasher to finishing running for the second time.