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  • Writer's pictureHeather Roberts

Take out the trash!

Take out the trash!

I saw from inside a trash compactor as the big metal bar came down and crushed the garbage tightly. Leaving more room at the top, but the space was still not free.

The Lord said, “How long will you keep compressing the garbage instead of taking it out?”

***

          Which begs the question what is the trash God is talking about? I went into prayer asking what specific things I believed were trash.

My trash included all false teachings that say that we must earn the love of God. It all leads to:

  1. Self-criticism because we know we can’t measure up to all the amazing gifts that God has for us.

  2. Because we are so self-critical, it isn’t long before we begin to criticize and judge others.

  3. Then a works mentality is born out of a desire to earn God’s love and to feel loved by others. We try to earn love by over-extending ourselves for our loved ones.

  4. We believe our exhaustion and physical pain are to be expected and accepted because we’re busy moms. And it somehow proves our worthiness and how hard we’re trying. Like maybe we get some extra credit for at least trying.

NO. It’s time to take out the trash.  

He doesn’t want us to live in pain and exhaustion. It’s not a badge of honor. Our society has glorified busyness and exhaustion. We seem to compete to display who is the most overwhelmed.

How backward from what He wants from us.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11: 28-30, ESV)

He desires us to yoke ourselves up to Him so that He might carry our burdens we cannot alone. He is the Alpha and Omega and knows the ending of our story, which is why trusting in His direction for our lives is the rest for our souls that He speaks about. When we live from a place of rest, we can fully engage in the blessings that He has given us. We begin to praise for what we do have instead of striving for the things just out of our reach.  

Exhaustion doesn’t prove anything good, but in fact, He states.

“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.” (Isaiah 48:22, ESV)

Only the wicked are doomed to have no rest because they are driven by their sin, fear of punishment from God, and poor lifestyle choices. We don’t have to live like the wicked.  

Take out the trash!

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23, ESV)

When we truly enter His rest, we can do so only through the open door of His all-consuming love. Allow yourself to be overtaken by His love so that you can see yourself as He sees you. You can begin to see His mercies are for you not just other people.

We must gain a deep understanding it’s not God’s desire to catch us doing bad or not measuring up to His standards. He sees our every attempt to love and enter into a relationship with Him as a treasure. Every small gesture or step toward Him is a time of victory. Just like we treasure our children’s homemade cards stamped with their precious handprints. He treasures our love notes to Him, even when and especially when they are tear-stained and imperfect. He’s most interested in our authentic hearts, not our hearts that we try to polish and perfect, hiding our hurts.

Prayer for you and me: Teach us who we are. We desire to know how You see us and we desire to increase in the experiential love with our faithful and generous God. We willingly lay down exhaustion in order to pick up Your rest and ability to engage in meaningful relationships. Fully present, fully known and understood, and yet still loved. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

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