We’d picked up a work-out DVD, his father and I, at the recommendation of a friend. Fair-weather runner that I am, I was ready to move it indoors. And with a high school reunion coming up, it was time to firm and tone. So there we were, sweating it out, Little following along. Panting, kaput, he said it: “My power is out.”
In those four little words, he summed out how this mama of four boys, telecommuter, and weekly columnist feels many days. Exhausted. Depleted. Wrung out with nothing left to give. Try as I might, I just can’t seem to juggle all the balls, to keep all the plates spinning. Something inevitably drops.
Crash. Failed again.
In his book, Beautiful Outlaw, John Eldredge says, “…This is what most Christians experience as the Christian life: try harder; feel worse.” Reading those words, I knew – I knew – what he meant.
He continued, “I find myself slipping back into this weekly. A handful of symptoms tip me off. Exhaustion, for one…or an unnamed internal distress. Discouragement, that old nagging cloud of ‘I’m totally blowing it.’ Irritation with needy people. These symptoms – and a host of others – are the collateral damage that results from trying my best.”
The key, he said, the epiphany he’d come to after years of striving to help people become whole, was this: “Jesus has no intention of letting you become whole apart from his moment-to-moment presence and life within you.”
And there it is, the answer; the antidote; the remedy for striving and self-effort. It is this: His life filling ours. Jesus in us, living His life through us. There – there – is the source of a power that cannot fail. For apart from Him, after all, we can do nothing.
“Lord Jesus, I give my life to you today, to live your life.” And this tired, depleted girl says, “Me, too. Amen.”
Note: The prayer shared above and the Eldredge quotes come from his book, “Beautiful Outlaw.” We have been blessed many times over the years by John’s books, starting with the discovery of “Wild at Heart” one day at the local bookstore.