Stretched Thin

I walked in the door and was immediately greeted by the shoes and toys on the floor, an empty dog bowl and spilled milk on the table. There was one child tattling, another crying, one frustrated with homework, and the other with a permission slip to sign. The day’s tension and anxiety walked in the door with me and were quickly finding fuel for the flame.

As I made my way into the kitchen to wash my hands and begin dinner, I felt so drained, so weak, so helpless. How can one piece of me…whatever was left, fit all the needs around me? How am I supposed to attend to the needs of my family when there is no more of me to go around? I’m exhausted. Stretched thin and threadbare.

I say it out loud, “God, I am stretched too thin. I can’t do this. Please help me.”

It’s then that I remember being on that hillside in Wales. A place with a cross and a chapel where God had met our missions team in such a powerful way. Our hosts called it a “thin place”…a place where the space between heaven and earth, God and us, fades or diminishes.

God met me there that day, in that “thin place” in rural Wales. How easily I forget that I didn’t leave His presence there, on the other side of the ocean. He is with me and His power is just as available to me here, right now as I tear up over a pot of water and the hustle of our household.

When I am stretched thin, I am more in touch with my weakness. Why does it take this brokenness and thinning for me to cry out and surrender?

Our seasons of motherhood and being overwhelmed or stretched thin may look differently…

Your season may be babies and sleepless nights or toddlers and potty training.
Your season may be preschool and crafts and dress up days.
Your season may be days of being a taxi service for your kids.
Your season may be teenagers, moodiness and bad attitudes.
Your season may be overwhelming as your precious ones are leaving the nest, going to college or planning weddings.

These seasons look different from the outside, but the stretching and emotions that occur in our souls are often the same. They are the same struggles, manifested in different ways.

“Easy is a soul word, not a circumstance word. The soul was not made for an easy life. The soul was made for an easy yoke.” 
~John Ortberg

How often do we pray for God to make things easier? Even if we don’t say the words, we often desire an easier way, an easier day, an easier life and sometimes He does make things easier. But what about when He doesn’t? What is His plan then?

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Put My yoke upon your shoulders–it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” 
~Matthew 11:28-30 (The VOICE)

Jesus is referring to a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to pull…and the action that takes place? It refers to the COUPLING, attaching, joining of the two.

So Jesus is inviting us to couple with Him, to attach to Him and to join with Him.

I often hear Christians say, “God won’t give us more than we can handle.” This is actually a departure from the truth. He gives us what He intends to carry with us.

His invitation is to join with Him. He invites us to do our labor and work with Him. Have you ever worked hard alongside someone? You know that joy that comes from working together and seeing your good work completed? God invites us to experience this bonding with Him. He never asks us to go alone. Our role is to abide in Him, to find rest in Him and to allow His supernatural strength to be made evident.

When we’re feeling stretched thin–could it be that we are trying to carry the yoke alone? Sure, most likely.

It helps to verbally speak your worries. Tell God all that is troubling you.

 

  1. We must PRAY – We need to pray and consistently…not only when we are already at a point of desperation.

 

In Philippians 4:6 it says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And His peace, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

 

  1. We must SURRENDER – Let go and let God, simple as that. Pretty self-explanatory, right? We know we are not meant to carry the yoke alone.

 

  1. We need to TRUST – In Psalm 91:1-2 it says, “Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High, will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to The Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I TRUST!”

 

God is our strong shelter in times of stress and trouble. He’s our Father who lovingly provides. Our Shepherd who guides and protects. And He acts on our behalf, accomplishing what concerns us and fulfilling His purpose for us as we call on Him and trust Him.

  • Stacy Jo Coffee-Thorne

    Awesome word, Andrea! And one that i needed badly to hear in this season that i am in. I always enjoy reading your articles and talking with you whenever we get chance…you are a true blessing to me! Thank you for your friendship!! ❤❤❤

  • Love this…”It’s then that I remember being on that hillside in Wales. A place with a cross and a chapel where God had met our missions team in such a powerful way. Our hosts called it a ‘thin place’…a place where the space between heaven and earth, God and us, fades or diminishes.” That’s the place I want to dwell. 🙂

  • Danielle Borzillo

    Thank you for this encouraging word.