Devotions

The Juggle is Real

January 6, 2022
“But I trust in you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.” Psalm 31:14-15 (NIV)
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Making myself a plate of raw carrots and red pepper hummus, I sat down at the kitchen table with my laptop and phone. I was hoping to spend some uninterrupted time both catching up on emails and making out my grocery list on a new app I’d downloaded.

Just as I opened my inbox, a new email popped up. It was from one of my kids, who wanted to know if I could help them with an important letter they needed to write.

I began to type out my reply when suddenly my phone rang. It was a friend calling to ask if I could volunteer for a community event that was coming up in a few weeks. Once I’d taken the time to answer them both, I went back to the tasks at hand.

After barely 10 minutes, I was interrupted a third time. This time it was a knock on the door. There stood an elderly neighbor who wanted to chat for a while. Although I wanted to welcome her in and engage in conversation since I knew she was often lonely, I felt tugged in two directions. I felt like my focus — and my time — was being vied for by both my projects and my people.

As women, although these two components are distinctive and the way they combine in each of our lives is unique, we all have to learn to manage the tension between our relationships and our responsibilities. We are faced with decisions every day that will affect both how — and with whom — we spend our time. And if we aren’t deliberate to prioritize our time, there are many others out there happy to scratch out our schedules for us.

This pressure can leave us feeling chased by the added items on our agendas or tempted to place our most important relationships on the back burner.

In Psalm 31, the author, David, found himself being chased, most likely fleeing from Saul, as he penned its words. At times, David narrowly escaped his pursuer, and then at other times, he hunkered down in the wilderness to hide. In Psalm 31:14-15, we see him declare: “But I trust in you, LORD; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in your hands; deliver me from the hands of my enemies, from those who pursue me.”

Certainly, today we aren’t hiding out in the wilderness, trying to escape our enemies. But nonetheless, there are times when we indeed feel we are being pressured and pursued — by those who want us to spend our time as they desire or by those waiting projects that are calling our name.

During his physical and emotional turmoil, David boldly avowed his trust in the Lord. On the heels of this, he added, “My times are in your hands” (v. 15).The Hebrew word for “time” that was originally penned in the text is the word “eth.” It does mean time in the way we think of it today, as in a period or length of time. However, it also can mean our circumstances or a season.

Are you in a season of busyness due to your pressing projects or responsibilities? Or do your unsettling circumstances result from the pressure others place on you to spend your time as they want you to? If we are having trouble managing our roles and responsibilities, we can echo the words of David, placing our trust in God to help us order our days. We can pray for discernment to know just how and where to spend our time so that we don’t shirk our obligations or neglect the people God does desire for us to spend time with.

Your people. Your projects. The juggle is real. Thankfully, so is the help you will get from the Lord. He will empower you to manage the tension between both, and then you’ll navigate your days with confidence.

Father, please help me to sort through my various roles and relationships, making sure I seek Your help in knowing just how and with whom to spend my time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

OUR FAVORITE THINGS

Feeling overwhelmed, burnt-out and pulled in too many directions by the needs of others? If you wish you had a little more freedom and margin in your daily schedule, Karen Ehman’s When Making Others Happy Is Making You Miserable Bible study is for you. With honesty and practical wisdom, Karen explores through six sessions why we fall into people-pleasing behaviors and offers advice for how we can break out into the freedom God has called us to. Because the truth is, we cannot fulfill our divine purpose if we're too busy living everyone else's. Check it out here today!

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Karen is celebrating the release of her Bible study curriculum When Making Others Happy Is Making You Miserable by hosting a “study and coffee time” giveaway for you and a friend on her Instagram account. Go enter the giveway!

If you want to hear more encouragement and humor from today’s devotion writer, Karen Ehman, join us in our Encouragement for Today Devotions Community group on Facebook for a special video from Karen! Join the group here for a community of women sharing encouragement and prayer, and check out the video.

FOR DEEPER STUDY

Proverbs16:9, “A person’s heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps.” (CSB)

When it comes to setting your schedule, would you say you are intentionally seeking the Lord, or do you tend to cave in to pressure from others to spend your time the way they desire?

What is one action step you can take to begin offering this whole process to the Lord for His direction?

We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

© 2022 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.


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