You can spend so much time feeding others that you starve yourself.
Back in the 70’s Bob Seger sang a song titled, Turn the Page, in which he lamented, in part,
Out there in the spotlight You're a million miles away Every ounce of energy You try to give away As the sweat pours out your body Like the music that you play. On the road again There I am Up on the stage Here I go Playin' star again There I go Turn the page
This song seems to be about a man giving all he has, goes to bed, wakes up, and another page is turned with him continuing to give his all without taking any time for himself. This song is a burnout song, a song about those that spend so much time feeding others they starve themselves until eventually; they have nothing but regret overcoming their days and nights—a tragic place to be.
Don’t get me wrong, God calls us to serve Him passionately and even promises rewards to those that do (Hebrews 11:6). However, we must be sure to strike a healthy balance in helping others and loving ourselves. I am writing this devotion about a thousand miles from my family, community, and church. Not because I wanted a break, instead because my body called “foul” and benched me, all because I was so focused on turning that next page, I neglected to dwell on my own story.
Interesting that my current view includes a lighthouse. Being a former sailor, I am quite familiar with both the importance and purpose of a lighthouse; in fact, I spent a year repairing and updating them throughout Alaska. As ships would depart from the shores to set their sights on work, that lighthouse tethered them to shore, a continually burning light both reminding them of home and directing them safely back to a harbor of rest. Jesus Christ is our Lighthouse, and He serves the same purpose; to remind us of home and provide safety back to our Harbor of Rest.
As I look at the lighthouse before me, I am saddened that it took me this long to pull my ship back into the Harbor of Rest, but thankful to God for those around me that care so much for me, they helped lead me back to the One above me.
Perhaps you have been going from circumstance to circumstance, day to day, just turning each page and doing it all over again. Is there a chance that today you realize it’s been a long time since you have taken care of you? While I commend and am very thankful to you for giving yourself so sacrificially to make a difference in this world, take it from me, you must take time every day in the Harbor of Rest.
God is not done with you yet; you may just need some time in port for God to refresh your body, renew your mind, and make any repairs that He needs to make.
Scripture: “Send forth your light and your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to your holy mountain, to the place where you dwell” -Psalm 43:3 NIV
Question: Am I taking time in the Harbor of Rest to draw close to God and allow Him to recharge, refresh, and revive my body, spirit, and soul?
Prayer: Father, it is easy to get so busy loving you by serving others that I lose sight of my own needs. Please help me realize that I can’t fix everything, and I can’t be there for everyone all the time. Please remind me that I need you as much as those I seek to help. May I stop focusing on turning that next page to enjoy my relationship with you so that I will have the strength to serve others. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, amen.