Moms are the only people I know who willingly lock themselves into a bathroom in order to get some 'me time.' Young professionals sip lattes in hip coffee shops while reading the latest best seller, business executives get their nails done--mani and pedi, even retired women schedule lunch dates with their friends. But moms...we have no free time for me time! From the moment our feet hit the floor it's go, go, go. Kids to dress, mouths to feed, laundry and errands and soccer practice and homework. Never mind our husbands who'd like a sliver of time as well. Most days it's all we can do to fall into bed in utter exhaustion without ever having had a moment's rest.
Jesus knows how you feel.
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest." So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
At the height of his ministry, Jesus and his disciples were pulled in every direction. So many demands pressed upon them that they didn't even have a chance to catch a bite to eat! Sound familiar? (How many times can a cup of coffee be reheated before it's worthless?) But Jesus recognized his disciples (and his) need for rest. He arranged for them to get away.
It's okay to intentionally take some time to refresh.
But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Despite a legitimate need for rest, sometimes the needs of the people prevailed upon Jesus and his disciples. Kind of like our kids....Best laid plans for a weekend away, a night out, or just a hot bath can be stymied by a baby's fever, a 4th grader's forgotten science fair project, or a teenager's broken heart. Despite the exhaustion, Jesus had compassion on the people. As moms our heartstrings are pulled by our families as well. It's important to remember that compassion is a part of God's nature. It should be a part of ours too.
Sometimes 'Me Time' gets swallowed up by 'Mom Time,' and that's okay.
By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”
But he answered, "You give them something to eat."
Jesus knew how tired the disciples were. Just a little while previously he'd been the one leading them away from the crowds to a quiet place to get some rest. But now he is demanding that they give yet again...he's calling them into sacrificial living. Being a mom is like being in boot camp for sacrificial living! The demands are there 24/7. There is no denying they are exhausting. And yet...
Jesus calls us into sacrificial living.
They said to him, “That would take more than half a year’s wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?”
"How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see."
When they found out, they said, “Five—and two fish.”
Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
After hearing that Jesus is asking them to give yet again, the disciples panic. They don't have what it takes! They can't possibly give anymore; they themselves don't have anything left to give, and what little they can scrounge up is hardly enough. As moms we can feel that way too--spent, empty, running on fumes with no reserve tank. Maybe by scraping the bottom of the barrel--by relying on what little we've got available to us (a phone or tablet, perhaps)--we can buy just a few more minutes or hours. But we certainly don't have enough. But look at what Jesus did. He took the meager bit the disciples could pull together and multiplied it. He made it enough! Momma, you don't have to do it! When you're at the end of yourself, when all your grit and fortitude is gone, when you're just about ready to crumble...Jesus steps in. He can take what little reserve you have left and stretch it into what you need. Is it easy? No. Does it mean giving beyond what you think you can? Yes. Does it demand surrender and trust? You bet. But when we, like the disciples, take stock and bring to Jesus the very last bit that we have, asking him to make it enough, he does.
You don't have to be enough because Jesus is enough!
Aimee Fuhrman is a full-time homeschooling mother of four (some of whom are now grown) who moonlights as an author. She loves Jesus, encouraging others, books, knitting, and coming up with delicious allergy-friendly recipes. She lives at the foothills of the Colorado Rockies with her husband of 25 years and their brood.