Do you have an apron? Is it something that you use regularly?
I have an apron and I pull it out occasionally, more often when I am in between appointments and need to work in the kitchen.
I remember reading about a woman who probably wore an apron every day. Her name was Susanna Wesley, she was the last child out of 25. She bore 19 children, all except 10 died in infancy. Susanna is more known for her two sons, John and Charles Wesley.
It is said that John preached to nearly a million people throughout his lifetime and his brother Charles wrote over 8,989 hymns.
Susanna had her hands full with her children, as well as dealing with her own bouts of sickness. They barely had the money for food, debt plagued them, their house burnt to the ground, not once but twice, causing them to lose everything they owned. She wrote, “It is certainly true that I have had large experiences of what the world calls adverse fortune. . . .” (McReynolds, K (1998) Susanna Wesley)
Find Your Strength
Yet in spite of all this, Susanna found strength in the Lord.
“Blessed are those whose strength is in you.” (Psalm 84:5)
Susanna would meet with her children on an individual basis, she would talk with them about the condition of their soul and their commitment to Christ. If they had questions about their faith, she would do her best to respond to them.
She had determined in her heart that in her zeal to see the salvation of souls, she would begin with her own children. She wrote to her husband while he was away, “. . . if I were inspired with a true zeal for his glory, and did really desire the salvation of souls, I might do somewhat more. I thought I may live in a more exemplary manner in some things; I might pray more for the people, and speak with more warmth to those with whom I have the opportunity of conversing. However, I resolved to begin with my own children;” (McReynolds, K (1998) Susanna Wesley)
Put Your Apron On
It is said that Susanna would oftentimes be seen sitting down, her Bible in her lap and her apron over her head, this was a signal to her children that she was in prayer and should not be disturbed. She was faithful to carving out time in prayer and studying the Word of God because she knew that was where she would gather strength and wisdom. She had found a place to rest.
It’s so easy to get caught up with the demands of our daily lives, juggling our responsibilities, making ends meet, putting food on the table that we forget or neglect what is truly important.
We need to make our relationship with Jesus a priority so that we can carry out our tasks at hand effectively. I’m sure that you have heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, as cliche as that might sound, I have to agree.
Fill your cup first my friend, throw that apron over your head if you have to, hide in the bathroom for a few mins, lay in bed a bit longer. Draw your strength from the Lord, find the wisdom, the knowledge all that you need in Him.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28
Rest. “ properly, to give (experience) rest after the needed task is completed; to pause (rest) “after precious toil and care” (Vine/Unger, White, NT).
Jesus extends the invitation to come to Him, to experience a refreshing, to pause from our precious toil and care.
Fill Your Cup First
Luke 5:16 says, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
In Mark 1:35, we see another time where Jesus withdrew. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
To cope with the demands of life, we need time alone so we can allow our brains to reboot and function optimally.
We may not always have that “quiet place to rest”, we can’t physically withdraw to a solitary place to pray but like Susanna, we can figure out a way to enter into His presence. She found what she needed in His presence. So can we.
So above all, constantly seek God’s kingdom and his righteousness, then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly. (Matthew 6:33)