But even if I am being poured out as a libation over the sacrifice and the offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice. - Philippians 2:17
Poor Paul. He’s the epitome of what it must mean to be exhausted. For the better part of ten years, he walks all over the Mediterranean, from Jerusalem to Rome. He’s often jailed and beaten. He’s trying to convince those whom he’s persecuted that he’s changed his ways while at the same time trying to make sense of a strange Jewish monotheistic religion to polytheistic Greco-Romans. He spends a ton of energy for the sake of his faith. I imagine he got tired.
And here, in his letter to the church in Phillippi, we hear it. He says he’s “poured out.” Do you hear the exhaustion in that phrase? He’s spent. He says that’s a good thing, much like an exhausted parent would say their kids exhaust them but they wouldn’t have Life without them. And yet, that doesn’t change the exhaustion or refill the vessel that is empty.
I would dare say we’re all there in this COVID reality we’re living in. We’re done, we’re spent, we’re ready for it to be over and done with. The craziness of the election and subsequent transition process is only adding to the exhaustion. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, we’re poured out.
Add to this that we’re about to enter into one of the busiest and most stressful parts of the year under extreme circumstances...what are we to do?
Sabbath, in all its myriad forms, is something we all owe ourselves when we can grasp it. Whether for an hour or for a day, to take ourselves away and out of the cacophony that surrounds us and allow ourselves to refill our rapidly emptying vessels is crucial. Jesus did it all the time, and he knew he needed to. We’re not so good at it sometimes. But man, right now, do we ever need it. We’re poured out.
This week, grant yourself the time to refill and renew. Turn off and tune out; all the craziness will still be here next week. Surround yourself with what sustains and fills you, and inject a little joy into your life. Refill that which is poured out, and give thanks for what it is that refills you, for that is what will get you through all of life’s tough times.
God Of Blessing, thank you for those things and people that refill us when we’re poured out; not the least of which is your renewing presence in our lives.