Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Hebrews 12:1(NIV, emphasis mine)
The Lord has been really speaking to me in “niblets” lately, and I have about three posts floating around in my head. I’m sure they’ll make it to paper at the right time.
Our pastor preached from this sermon, in part, on this past Sunday. He actually used the character Haman from the book to speak about the “weight” (the word used in the King James version rather than ‘things that hinder’) that caused his doom—a hatred of the Jews from the killing of the Agagites years before. The sermon was powerful, but I was stuck in this verse and an appropriate reflection on the things that hinder me.
I shared previously about my traditional burnout during this point in our school year. Earlier in my homeschool journey, I saw this as a sign of being a poor homeschool mom, and I would hesitate to voice it to anyone. Now, without the need to constantly wear a cape on my back, and with an ear and eye toward the hearts of candidly sincere moms who’ve gone before me, I have no problem admitting some things. One of those admissions is that burnout is real. Anyone who stays with homeschooling long enough will live to testify that you will grow weary before you grow graduates.
Having said that, this is the first year, even including the first year, that I’ve not experienced the burnout that normally defines my homeschool days between November and December. As I say each week in my wrap-up, we are enjoying a year of tremendous fruit. Not only are we prospering in our homeschool, but I am prospering in a number of areas. Yet, I find myself expecting to burned out, and that places a damper on all the things I should be excited about. My expectation that I shouldn’t be doing well at this point is the weight that is hindering me. And then, as I sat in church allowing the Lord to reveal all of this to me, I thought about how often I hear people speak from their weights. Whether it’s clinical depression, a work situation that isn’t going well, a ministry that isn’t blossoming, or children that aren’t aligned with the vision, we resign ourselves to certain situations and face the day as if they’ve taken permanent root in our lives. Those thoughts consume us and keep us from rejoicing in the beauty of who we are in Christ and the wondrous works He created. My husband and I talk all the time about people in our lives who always talk about the same things over and over, and they can maneuver any conversation around to how broke they are, or how sick and/or tired they’ve been, or just about themselves period. Being preoccupied with self, even if it’s with good things, is spiritually dangerous, and it limits Christ’s joy from manifesting through us. It stumps our witness, and it takes our eyes of who Christ is in us, much like Peter when he stopped looking at Jesus and instead focused on the water he walked on.
If I weren’t focused on the fact that I should be burned out, and why I am not burned out, and whether this is a permanent thing or just temporary, I might spent more time enjoying the unusual snow day earlier today. I might have enjoyed more the fact that the superhero was snowed in with us today. I might be more excited about the parades that the oldest will perform in this coming weekend. I could whip out the movie “The Nativity Story” and remind myself, amidst my neighbors who fight to see who can put up the most Christmas lights but won’t get up and go to church (a sermon for another time), what Christmas is all about. I could speak encouragement into my college students. I might rejoice that we are able to buy the kids Christmas gifts that they want and need, debt-free. I could hug more. I could give more kisses. I could stomp on the devil with sustained fervency.
What weight do you need to let go? May the Lord reveal to you what’s hindering you from allowing Him to be more inside of you, and God bless.