Depleted. I think I have used that word more times in the past three months than I have in the past three years. And I know I am in good company as many friends are in a similar space for any number of reasons. It’s a stark reality and reflection of the times in which we are living.
Before leaving for our family’s summer vacation several weeks ago, I was so looking forward to getting refueled and recharged. I already had images in my head of a genuine escape from it all – blissful sunset gazing with my family, endless laughter, and peaceful rest. And while our family vacation did provide a much-needed break (and sunsets and laughs), it certainly wasn’t the ‘escape’ for which I was looking. In fact, I returned feeling much like I needed a vacation from my vacation. I know, first world problems as we were blessed to even get away, but reality is, it certainly didn’t feel like an “escape”.
I actually returned from vacation feeling more depleted than when I left (anyone feel me?). It did not help that my last day of vacation was hijacked by an issue back home. And as I returned to the fray, I had a difficult time getting and staying motivated. But also, upon my return, my phone started blowing up with encouraging texts from friends and colleagues, each letting me know that they were praying for me. A friend shared notes from a sermon that recently spoke to her and she felt would touch me too. Another friend even surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of flowers. God was clearly up to something. He was using others to let me know He cared, and to my surprise, those feelings of depletion started, well, depleting!
It was around that time that a dear friend reached out to me and asked if I was able to escape and refuel on my vaca, as she knew the space I was in upon leaving. Instead of griping about how I was still feeling depleted and unmotivated and truly just wanting Calgon to ‘take me away,’ something made me sit on that question. And then the unpacking began. Given how God had shown up for me the previous 24 hours, I wasn’t feeling so depleted after all. Not only that, but I had to ask, “what was I was trying to escape?” I love my home, my family, friends, and colleagues, our church… and so without much more thought, I responded with, “Refueling right now actually looks like Daily Bread and I am okay with that! One day at a time.”
I’m confident that answer came courtesy of the Holy Spirit as God was reminding me of His presence in that moment. It sure sounded right and good. My friend probed further. “Describe Daily Bread,” she asked.
Little did I know, I was in for a teaching moment with God. I thoughtfully paused to consider what that answer truly meant. I immediately went to The Lord’s Prayer. “Give us this day our daily bread…” started ringing on repeat in my head. Bread is a significant literal and figurative symbol of God’s provision for His people throughout the Bible. It’s sustenance. I spent some time reflecting on what that meant both during and after the conversation I had with my girlfriend. In that moment, I believe the Lord was reminding me of the only true way to get replenished is through His Daily Bread (no, it’s not escaping to a tropical oasis!):
- Jesus is the Bread of Life
- Daily time with Him is essential.
- Soaking in Scripture each day is provision.
- Worshipping Him is restorative.
- Thanksgiving offers renewal.
And in all of that, I can be assured that each day, He will give me all that I really need. A dependence on God and not my circumstances, or even people, is what will sustain me from day to day. We are encouraged to make our needs known to Him, trusting that He will provide (Matthew 7:7-8) and sustain us from day to day (Philippians 4:19, Psalm 55:22, among many other verses).
You see, a day at the spa, a getaway, a long slumber, or even an awesome family vacation (or insert escape mechanism here), these things might give me some rest, or perhaps a mental break, but they are not going to sustain me. That space is for God to do His good work. So I’m on an urgent pursuit for Daily Bread, and confident He will be faithful in sustaining me.
Please pray “The Lord’s Prayer” with me:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”