The Problem With More

by Mary Marantz October 28, 2020
“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:8 (NIV)
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I often find myself praying two prayers, run-on sentence style, unironically and in the same breath.

God, I have too much.

God, when are You going to give me more?

On the one hand, I find myself suffocating, sputtering and gasping, unable to breathe with everything weighing on my lungs. It’s like a 2-ton to-do list sits down on my chest and refuses to move until I give it treats of endless checkmarks and infinite highlight reels.

Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning, breathless at the busyness of an over-scheduled, over-crowded, over-managed life of my own making. It’s all too much. But it’s all too little. And that’s exactly when I ask for more.

God, when are You going to give me what they have? When will my life look just like theirs?

I present my blueprints to God, these carefully drawn constructions of a life I have planned. I layer on second and third floors to a ground level that is already shaky. I ignore a foundation that is beginning to crumble under the weight of trying to become something I was never designed to be. I stare at my plans and wish for someone else’s, something grander, more ornate.

Please give me less, God.

But please, oh please, God, when will You give me more?

The Bible tells us we were never meant to live this way: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30, NIV).

It’s so beautiful that Jesus would use the imagery of a yoke. A yoke was typically used to subject oxen to the bondage of constantly plowing forward, driven ever onward by the heavy weight they carried on their shoulders — sound familiar? In Matthew 11, Jesus uses it to represent the true freedom only found in coming to Him for rest. He’s saying you can lay down the weight of the hustle, this constant spinning and striving, trying to work your way into worth.

Instead, the rest He offers us is more like a tree planted by the water, as Jeremiah 17:8 says: “They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

It gives more oxygen than it takes. It provides shade and shelter to those who want to come and sit by it for a while. It is a welcome place of belonging. A much-needed respite for the weary. A place to come and rest our tired souls.

Heavenly Father, I waste so much time trying to earn my worth in a world that values this fleeting currency of “more.” I’ll admit, I sometimes try to take the plans out of Your hands, believing I somehow know better. Thank You, Jesus, that You see worth in me outside of any of my works. That You offer me rest. That You love me, regardless of what I achieve or get done today. Help me to live like Your love is unfailing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (NIV)


Without realizing it, we’ve let achieving and performing become our oxygen. Perfectionism is the penance we think we have to pay to take up space in any room. We feel broken and disqualified from the hard stories that leave muddy fingerprints across our lives, and we limp along in that “never enough-ness” rather than stepping boldly into the call God has placed on our lives.

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When was a time you found yourself asking God for both less and more at the same time? Did you realize you were already overwhelmed, even while you were wishing for more of what someone else had?

It’s good to remember all the times God has provided where hustle never could. Share your stories of God’s rest and provision in the comments section!

© 2020 by Mary Marantz. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Baker Publishing Group for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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