Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. - Psalm 127:1
I’ve been gaining so much from this Psalm of Ascent study - He continues to open my eyes wide as I dive deeper into these Words I’ve only just breezed through in the past. Each one seems to be a little treasure of wisdom for me. Psalm 126 was been particularly meaningful to me - I didn’t want to leave it. But at the same time, I grow excited for the jewels to be found in the next Psalm.
Psalm 127 has not disappointed. It seems to be specifically written for my overachieving soul. I labor in vain all the time. Though I’ve grown so much in this area over the years, my tendency is toward busyness. I often tell people I don’t sit idle well - I like to have things to do to keep my hands and my mind busy. I am a planner who feels most at ease if I know what’s coming, and I feel most valued when my schedule is full.
My controlling nature stems from my need for security - I need to know how things are going to happen. Uncertainty means there could be chaos, something could go wrong, and I could find myself managing something I’m not prepared to handle - that kind of vulnerability makes me anxious. Unplanned time also equates to wasted time in my mind - I’m an exceptionally efficient person, most especially if I’m well planned. I don’t like to waste a moment where I could be productive. When I’m productive, I feel value.
You see, I’ve always viewed idleness as such a waste of time. Rest doesn’t come easy for me because my brain tells me there’s not value or purpose in it - it feels so self centered. Despite the fact that I’m reminded over and over in scripture that He calls us to rest, I still struggle to allow myself any down time. I literally have to force myself to relax.
I’ve come to understand over the years that this need for control of my schedule comes from my fear of man. I find purpose and value when I’m needed, so I have a tendency to fill my schedule with ways I can serve people. My purpose and my value were so deeply rooted in my fear of man that it took me years to pull those roots apart. I couldn’t see how I was looking for the approval of others in my crazy, busy schedule - I just thought I was doing what I was called to do. My purpose and my value weren’t coming from the God I thought I was serving, it was coming from the people I was serving...and from the people who were watching me serve.
The problem with my busy schedule was that it was exhausting and often caused me to be irritable. But for many years, I wouldn’t slow down long enough to listen to God try to tell me to slow down. I was too busy serving Him to listen.
Until one day, someone said, God would never create a schedule for me that would leave me exhausted or that wouldn’t leave time to rest in Him. If I’m exhausted, then I’m working on my agenda and not His. It hit me like a ton of bricks. If I feel like I’ve got a crazy schedule to manage, and I have no time to fit in small group, church, or daily quiet time with Him, then I’m not operating on His schedule, I’m operating on mine.
It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. - Psalm 127:2
When I finally started to slow down and allow Him to create my agenda, my eyes started to open to what I was doing and why I was doing it. It was a stronghold for so many years in my life that it still is my tendency when things get stressed, when I need to feel valued, my schedule starts to ramp up, but I’m quicker to recognize what I’m doing and put the brakes on. I am so thankful for a God that loves me enough to continue to chase after me, despite the fact that I’m really hard to catch sometimes.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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