As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.
(Matthew 14:15, NIV)
Friend to Friend
It’s breakfast time. Not only do I need to get food on the table, but I also need to get lunchboxes packed, socks out of the dryer, water bottles filled and cups of water on the table. We’re already a bit late and I’m behind on my game.
It’s a lot to handle. With this, I move at a pace three times quicker than normal, almost in full panic mode. I tune out every family member who’s trying to talk to me.
“I’m working on it, everyone,” I say, trying to let them know that I’m doing the very best I can. I try to focus on one thing at a time, but everyone wants something from me.
Before long, my anxiety level goes through the roof. I’m not doing a good job. I snap some words at them. I’m not even sure what I’m saying. But hopefully it communicates, “Stop talking to me.”
While all of this is happening, I feel so guilty about how I’m acting.
Finally, I get everyone out the door. After waving good-bye and taking a deep breath, I lean on my front door frame, and it is here that I suddenly realize I’m starving.
I never thought about feeding myself. About taking care of what I needed. No wonder I was acting so cranky and on edge. When my blood sugar gets low, I tend to feel anxious.
Sometimes I forgo my natural needs, thinking God is only concerned with spiritual needs. But God cares about our body, our health and our physical needs too.
The disciples saw the crowds and said, “Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Matthew 14:15 NIV
But Jesus did not discount the people’s hunger. He didn’t dismiss it. He didn’t say, “This isn’t my business – I focus on the supernatural, not the natural.” Ultimately, Jesus addressed the simple bodily need of hunger. He gave thanks, broke the loaves, and filled the need. All the people ate and were satisfied.
Dear friend, God is not outside your need to take care of yourself, be healthier, lose weight, feel better, get exercise, or find sleep. He addresses EVERY need.
Your need to take care of others is not more important than God’s desire to also take care of you. Just think — how can a burned-out woman ever authentically care for those around her if she’s running on a short fuse?
Today, come to God hungry and ask Him to feed you. Ask Him to help you recognize your own physical needs. Ask Him to help you start taking care of yourself too.
Father, I admit, I sometimes put myself last. I am asking for your help in knowing when to love others and when to also care for myself. Help me identify what I need. Help me draw wise lines.
In Jesus’ Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Where do you neglect your body, your temple? How do you ignore your own physical needs? How does this impact others? What might God be calling you to?
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Kelly Balarie, blogger at Purposeful Faith and author of the new book “Battle Ready: Train Your Mind to Conquer Challenges, Defeat Doubt and Live Victoriously” is passionate about joining hands with women who often find themselves stuck in the pits of life. Step-by-step, word-by-word, her dream is that together they can emerge better – fear, fret and panic-free. Get all of Kelly’s Purposeful Faith blog posts by email for a dose of inspiration and encouragement.