Tuesday morning started out like most mornings. Up at 4:30 to get ready for work, feed the dog, check on the ducks and goats, do a couple needed tasks in the house and then leave for work. My hours are from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and I expected the day to go as usual. Around 9:30 the days plans changed completely. I began to feel dizzy, I was slurring my words, and was having difficulty recalling the words I wanted to use. I called my doctor and was told to go straight to the emergency room at the nearest hospital. My husband and I work together so he immediately came for me and we left for the ER.
I was admitted and the doctors, nurses, and other staff ran tests, took blood, asked questions, and I had in rapid succession a MRI, CAT scan, EKG, ultrasound of my carotid artery, and an echo-cardiogram. The concern was that I had experienced a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (TIA). My husband sat with me and helped answer questions my mind could not. I was so grateful for his presence.
As the test results began coming, in the doctor was able to tell us that I had not had a stroke or TIA. My symptoms were from severe exhaustion. I was sent home with instructions to stay home and rest the following day. My husband contacted my supervisors and informed them of the situation and I immediately went to bed. I slept for fourteen hours. I am paying more attention to my mind and body and when I recognize that I am feeling dizzy or out of sorts I stop and rest. It will take time, but I do not want to see that kind of worry and concern on my husband’s face again.
God is the same way. When we push ourselves to accomplish all sorts of tasks and determine that we will get into Heaven all on our own, we will find ourselves exhausted and still lacking. We do not have the power, ability, or authority. We end up fooling ourselves that it’s all on us to get into Heaven by our own works, our own “goodness”, or our own righteousness. Scripture tells us in Romans 5:8, But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.
In other words, the tasks, the righteousness, the goodness— those things have already been accomplished by Christ’s death and resurrection. We are struggling to do something God has already done. While my situation was a bit extreme, God had my attention. If I don’t wash the dishes every day, I will not lose my righteousness. If I allow the laundry to pile up, I will not have to give up my salvation. My tasks have nothing to do with getting into Heaven.
The only way to gain access is to admit I cannot do it on my own. I need Jesus. Just like the hymn says, I need Thee, O, I need Thee, every hour I need Thee. I may still do the laundry and the dishes or any other household task, but I do it to bring order and joy to my home. Nothing more.
Best Beloved, is God trying to get your attention? Is He trying to show you in different ways that your actions and to-do list will only get you a bed in the ER? Stop thinking that it’s all on your shoulders, it isn’t and it never was. Jesus Christ has paid the cost for you and for me. Anything we do is just busyness. Stop trying to get there on your own and let Him in to your life.
On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners,” (Mark 2:17).