Devotionals, Five Minute Friday

Searching for Relief

Doing it for the sake of getting it done…

Not for any edifying reason or for encouragement, I write to do it and to be done.

How about you? How many things do all of us do just for the sake of doing it and getting it done? We want the gratifying sigh of relief.

Some things we have no choice in: work, chores, taking care of family and paying the bills. We work to get it done and have relief that we provide for the rest.

Other things we chose so that we can run with the crowd: post that picture you were almost ashamed to take and wait for some likes, write a half-witted blog post to rope some people in with ideologies or relatable life moments, and join a group that fights for something that you may or may not believe in because you just want some friends. Relief… we found some people, maybe a tribe, but at least a person.

Then there are the things that we search out of spiritual obligation: church, confession, raising a hand during the music in hope that God might grant favors or because everyone else is doing it, and serving the church through miscellaneous tedious tasks that take up your social media time that you will, no doubt, post about on social media later in the day. Relief… spiritual chores are done, we are now good with God.

There are also some people waiting for some relief in their health lives: diagnosis that edify their pain, treatment that they have been waiting for to be approved by their insurance, and support from family who have all sorts of opinions or are nay-sayers that will surely see the truth after the real diagnosis comes forth.

All of these things weigh on us despite scoffing attitudes or legitimate concerns. Work, social interactions, service, and health are all things that we look for belonging in, recognition for, and relief over our efforts no matter how haphazard they are. We just want rest in knowing that we belong.

But, friends, we do belong, we are known… look for this truth.

1 John 5:19-21 ESV 

We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.

We need to step away from the idols of feelings and lean on the truth of love. God loves us so much and we always have a place with Him. I know that it hurts when you go unrecognized in work, service and health. It’s a battle upstream most of the time. We cannot turn our accomplishments we make against the grain into idols of relief and belonging. We already belong, it’s just a matter of remembering.

We cannot turn our accomplishments we make against the grain into idols of relief and belonging. We already belong, it's just a matter of remembering. Click To Tweet

8 thoughts on “Searching for Relief

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Maryann. It’s always a joy to visit your page! You are a gifted writer and I am grateful for your heart to speak truth into our lives.

  2. I think WordPress swallowed my comment. Here it is, again…and if the first comes up, well…oops.

    I never needed to belong,
    always took the solo route
    whether it was right or wrong,
    “I can hack it!” was my shout.
    But now I think I’d like to ride
    some motocross with the kids,
    to take some chest-beating pride
    in that which I could show I did.
    And there is just one more thing,
    that some might grow to know me,
    not for cancer’s darkling wing,
    but for my ability.
    Might be lame, but I don’t care,
    now to the track, to catch some air.

  3. I never needed to belong,
    always took the solo route
    whether it was right or wrong,
    “I can hack it!” was my shout.
    But now I think I’d like to ride
    some motocross with the kids,
    to take some chest-beating pride
    in that which I could show I did.
    And there is just one more thing,
    that some might grow to know me,
    not for cancer’s darkling wing,
    but for my ability.
    Might be lame, but I don’t care,
    now to the track, to catch some air.

  4. When we do things out of obligation instead of doing them because God is prompting us in that moment, it can take the joy out of it and cause exhaustion.

  5. Oh my goodness. This line spoke to my heart, “…, raising a hand during the music in hope that God might grant favors or because everyone else is doing it,…” I always feel guilty in church because I won’t repeat repeat after me corporate prayers. And I won’t clap just because everyone else is doing. I don’t feel guilty for being true to where the Spirit leads me, but to looking like I don’t agree with what is being said or done.

  6. “It’s just a matter of remembering!” Amen, Maryann! And what a relief it is when we do! Love this!

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