Thursday, August 24, 2006

First Love

I've felt a heaviness this week, a burden I couldn't identify. All this talk about relationships and needs has been too much for my mind to take in. I can't figure out my responsibility to others or where to find the balance. While I feel fulfilled in my relationships with people, I know many people who do not and I honestly want to help them. But I tend to overcompensate, trying to make them feel important and loved, while wearing myself out. I wonder, am I really doing it for the sake of God and in the name of loving others, or am I trying to look good and be acceptable to people? I care about a lot of people. I want them to feel loved and appreciated, but it is physically impossible. What is my responsibility? How do I know when I should or shouldn't take the time?

As the Psalmist says, "When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me till I entered the sanctuary of God. . ." I WAS feeling oppressed, so I asked God about it.

ME: Lord, I feel this burden I can't identify. I read a little portion of Psalms and got misty. What is that? Do I need a fresh filling of Your Spirit? Have I been trying to do things without You?

GOD: A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, you must love one another. (John 13:34)

ME: I'm trying, Lord. Show me how to work it all--caring for my family and building people up.

GOD: May my cry come before You, O Lord; give me understanding according to Your word. (Psalm 119:169)

ME: That's what I want. Give me understanding.

GOD: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)

ME: Are you saying, "Love God FIRST, then others"? Have I not been doing this?

There was the answer. Not, take care of yourself first so you can care for others. It was LOVE GOD FIRST and then love others. I won't be able to figure it out (DANG, I hate that! There are so many things beyond my puny brain!!). Instead, God was telling me, "Spend time with Me and I will direct you." Now that's something I can comprehend, a game plan I can follow. No, it's not crystal clear. I'm certain I'll question exactly what I'm supposed to be doing at times, but it's got to be better than the little hamster wheel I've been on. LOVE GOD FIRST AND HE WILL DIRECT YOU WITH OTHERS. The burden has lifted. Thank You, Lord.

3 comments:

Kara Bird said...

How easy it is to forget! Thanks for the reminder! (I always need one!) :) Great thoughts as always Tami!

Anonymous said...

Tami,

ALWAYS the perfect answer!

Glad you are working through to the side of understanding the muck I have placed in your life this week.

Love you!

R.G. said...

Tami, I SO resonate with your post. My daily goal is to Seek First His Kingdom (as you know from the title of my blog). I have been so convicted these past few days by the devotions for this week in Chambers. He's talking a lot about "self awareness" and how we have to replace it with "Christ awareness." And the fact that we have to remind ourselves to "love God first" means we are far too self aware. On Aug. 20, he says, "If we try to overcome our self-awareness through any of our own commonsense methods, we will only serve to strengthen our self-awareness tremendously."

Every single day I get overwhelmed by Oswald Chambers because everything he says seems so true but so impossible.

Then today I was reading in the Women's Devotional Bible and there is a devo by Gladys Hunt in 1 Samuel. She says, "No wonder the Scripture says over and over, Wait for the Lord! Not for the thing you want, but for the Lord!"

Isn't that cool? It's very much what your conversation with God was about.