I saw a Joyce Meyers podcast this morning called 'Don't Disturb Me!' She said that everyone has, in some form, a 'do not disturb' sign on their lives. Rushing through life too concerned about themselves and what they need to do, rather than asking and seeking what God wants them to do. No time for interruptions... She went on to reveal that Jesus had time for interruptions. In fact, he was interrupted constantly, he never once said, "I don't have time to chat right now, but you're definitely in my prayers."
Wow... talk about conviction... How many times have I prayed for others yet did nothing else? Now, I'm not saying we have to do everything... that's not realistic... but we should be listening to what God is urging us to do daily. Give what we can, when we can as we connect to that still small voice.
I'd like to share with you an excerpt from a story called 'Pollyanna doesn't live here anymore'. It's about a shy, co-dependant housewife who feels unloved. A faceless, unappreciated woman who's afraid of conflict; who avoids it like the plague. She is afflicted with resentments that run deep because she's suppressed them for so long having no one to talk to, no one to listen, no one who cares. Eventually her emotions peak to a boiling point, where she explodes and wants to take her own life. But God intervenes through Kay, who has taken off her 'Do Not Disturb' sign.
Attention: Restricted for adult eyes only - some insinuated swearing (I've blocked the words with wingdings).
"What are you doing?" Jeff was concerned about his wife. She had just finished a round of chemo and instead of resting she was baking muffins.
"God wants me to make some smiley face muffins for Polly."
"The neighbour can make her own muffins. God wants you to take a well deserved rest."
"No... that's what you want me to do." Kay was cold and tired, all she really wanted to do was snuggle on the couch with Jeff, but that still small voice wanted her to bake muffins for the neighbour. She didn't know why, but over the past ten years as a follower of Christ, she's learned that God always knows why and there is always a reason.
"Besides, I've got to keep busy... takes my mind off of things and it doesn't give me a chance to feel sorry for myself." she slowly grabbed the measuring cup from the cupboard and looked down at the recipe.
"I love you." Jeff's heart ached but he swallowed back the tears and hugged his wife, "What can I do to help you?"
“He’s such an A@#!” Polly thought to herself as she slammed the casserole dish into the sink.
“He doesn’t care about me,” she fumed, "if Ron really cared, he would have called by now." Her husband was supposed to be home at five thirty and it was nearly nine now.
"He doesn't respect me." That was the underlying issue, she's felt that way for years yet never told him. Resentment burning to her core. She's never been one to hold on to a grudge, or so she thought.
“@%$#!” she sliced the tip of her finger on a knife, hiding in the soapy suds underneath the dish she just threw.
It wasn’t the first time Polly worried about Ron, he'd done this kind of thing many times over the past 12 years of marriage. The first time was one month after they were married. He went to an AC DC concert with the boss and some guys from work.
"I'll be home late," He gave her a peck on the cheek and hopped into a Limo the boss had rented for the night; filled with bachelor wannabes drunk on tequila shooters. Polly woke up in a frenzy when, at 2am, she woke up to find her husband still missing.
"He said he was going to be late. Don't worry Polly. Just breath. He's Okay." She remembered having to talk herself out of a panic attack, it was instinctual for Polly, her Mom was a worry wart too; a habit handed down to the next generation.
"Just relax, he's fine." She couldn't help herself though, she loved him. She laid there for an hour trying not to picture the Limo in an accident on some rural road, or a knife fight in the alley of BC Place.
"How well do I really know these people?" Maybe drugs were involved and now her innocent husband was in the slammer? The dreaded list grew with each passing hour that Ron didn't call. It got to the point where Polly, at 5am began to pace hysterically throughout the rooms of their small one bedroom apartment. There was no way of reaching him. He didn't own a cell phone and she had no idea how to contact his boss, Paul.
"He better be in the hospital!" Anger consumed her at 7am. He called at 8am.
"I'm sorry honey. We had a lot to drink and it was late, so I just crashed at Paul's." She was irritated.
"Why didn't you call me?"she asked.
"Are you my mother?"
"No... but I was worried."
"Don't be honey. I'm a big boy." he laughed sarcastically, making Polly feel silly, as if she was making a mountain out of a mole hill.
"Fine... just call next time. Okay?" she was tired. Defeated, she innocently accepted his apology, thinking it would never happen again. She was so naive back then.
"I can't do this anymore. I'm so tired of waiting for him to grow up!" She felt her chest tighten up, "Twelve years of waiting. Twelve years of making excuses for him. This isn't a partnership!"
Many times, Polly tried to calmly explain how she felt when he didn’t call, but he would get defensive and say she didn't trust him. She didn't think he was having an affair, she just wanted to be sure he was okay. He never understood that. He didn't trust her. Ron never could let go of his independence, he didn't know how a partnership worked or to be accountable to another person. He had no understanding of what 'partnership' meant, and Polly was too shy to defend herself and tell him what she needed in this marriage. A part of it was her fault for not being bold enough to say anything. She hated 'rocking the boat'.
"It was all his fault! He doesn't care about me. He's the one that's selfish!" Years of built up resentments exploded around her. Her chest hurt. Her finger hurt. Her head hurt. Her heart hurt. She tried to wrap a Band-Aid around her finger with one hand, it was next to impossible. As tiresome as holding a toddler down to change it's diaper, while in a state of post partum depression.
“@#$#@!” She threw the box of band aids across the room.
"Good thing the kids were in bed," she thought, "they can't hear me swearing." she may have been good at keeping her voice down, but that didn't make the anger any less real. Polly rarely swore.
"Why do I let him get to me like this?"
"This is not what I signed up for!" she screamed silently and slid to the floor crying.
“Polly, you’re such a good girl,” her mother always told her. She never smoked, never drank, never did drugs and she waited till she was married before she had sex.
“She's such a good girl. I'm so blessed with Polly,” her mother would tell everyone, “we never had to worry about her.” No. No one had to worry about Polly. She was always doing the right thing, helped when something needed to get done, never raised her voice when things went wrong and always with a smile on her face. Even when she didn't feel like it. Good old perfect and reliable Polly, who was so perfectly lonely with no one to talk to.
"No one notices me. I blend in too well." with a feeble smile she picked the band aids up off the floor and put them back in the box. She was able to close the first aid box with her elbow, then placed it back under the sink.
“I’m tired of worrying,” she grabbed the broom and swept the bathroom and hall vigorously, “I’m tired of picturing his dead bloody body somewhere on the side of the road and I’m tired of him not giving a $#$% about how I may be feeling.” Defeated she leaned onto the broom clinging onto the ordinary before her emotions dragged her somewhere she didn't want to go.
"He doesn't love me." she sobbed. She was tired about everything. Even tired of living.
“I don’t want to do this anymore. No one would notice if I was gone." a deep sadness swept over her leading her emotions to very dark places. As she reached into the knife drawer, the doorbell rang.
Polly eventually finds healing. Through Kay, she realizes God has set her apart, she's not alone and faceless, He sees her. He loves her, and no matter how dark her life might seem, she is not hidden from the Lord. You see he sets captives free, he heals the sick and he calls the dead to come out of their graves. That's how much he loves her.
This is what Jesus has to say, about why he came, "The Lord has put his Spirit in me, because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and the blind that they see again. God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly..." Luke 4:18
We, who believe, are called to follow in Christ's footsteps. How can we do that when we have our 'do not disturb' sign on? How can we set captives free if we ourselves are captive, focused on our own problems? Everyone has problems. That's life, but what are you focused on?
This week I've been reading The Secret of Happiness
by Pastor Barry James Buzza. He states that the Sea of Galilee, even 2000 years later is still known for it's abundant species of fish.
"One hundred and fifty three species of fish are reported to flourish in the twelve mile by six mile fresh water lake." Barry Buzza
This lake flows into the Jordan River also known for it's abundant aquatic life, but life stops at the end of it when it flows into the Dead Sea.
"Life flows in, sits there and does nothing and that's the end of the story." Barry Buzza
There is no life in the Dead Sea, because there is no outflow.
There is no life in you if you receive and take instead of giving. We need outflow in our lives."The secret of happiness is revealed in the river that flows out of us, rather than the river that flows into us." Barry Buzza
My challenge for you this week is to take off the Do Not Disturb sign around your neck and notice the needs of those around you. I'd love to hear about your week and if you would like to share a story with us give us an email.
Anuschka and the D4N Ladies