This fresh set of Daily Devotions is being provided for our LCA/NZ family, friends and visitors to help us to keep our eyes on Jesus as we face unsettling times. They can be used by families and individuals as part of the LCA/NZ’s Church@Home resources to encourage us and build trust in our Heavenly Father during this season of uncertainty and physical isolation.
by Jane Mueller
Click here for your printable verse to carry with you today.
‘Martha, Martha … you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one’ (Luke 10:41,42a).
Are you a victim of shoulds? I should tidy the garage. I should top dress the lawn. I should set up a better email filing system. I should spend less on shoes. I should eat a healthier diet. I should do more exercise. I should sleep more. I should keep up with the news. I should watch less news.
If you answered yes, you’re not alone.
In Numbers 11, Moses was a victim of shoulds. ‘These people are wailing and demanding meat. I should take responsibility for their needs.’ This was an emotional burden God never asked Moses to bear.
Martha was a victim of shoulds. ‘I invited Jesus into my home. I should make a fuss and prepare dinner.’ Martha was distracted and worked up by things she deemed important, which took her focus away from Jesus.
We are easily hung up on trivial matters and insert ourselves into situations that are none of our business. We try fixing problems that are not our responsibility, and we adopt emotional burdens that are not intended to be ours.
When we do this, we are acting as though we know how to run the world better than God himself. We find ourselves undertaking meaningless activity that serves no eternal purpose. We essentially put God on hold, in order to contend with self-imposed stresses.
But God created us as human beings, not human doings. He is a God of grace. He gives us peace, he gives us rest. He doesn’t give us shoulds. God’s burden is light and it’s there for the taking if we want it. We need only to be still.
God of peace, rest and stillness; forgive me when I insert myself into situations that take my focus away from you. Forgive me when I adopt unnecessary stresses, claiming they are in your name. Help me to recalibrate. Show me how to sit quietly in your presence and to surrender to your will alone. Amen.