We have to choose. And in the choosing we choose the thing that might be easier at first, but in the end will bite us in the butt.
Recently I watched Jim Caviezel being interviewed by a pastor on the west coast. I'll share the link below because if you have time, you'll be super blessed if you watch it. One thing he said was exactly what I needed to hear. When I heard it I thought it was profound but it was more than the words at the time. God used them to help me with my caregiver burn-out.
Mr. Caviezel said something like this, "Either carry your cross or its weight will crush you." Either or. And if we don't choose we are choosing the latter choice and we will be crushed. We can't sit on the fence on the issue of our cross. Jesus said His followers should pick up their cross daily and follow Him if they are truly His.
You could say carrying your cross means being who God created you to be and all that entails. The only way to do that is to let Christ be the center of us and shine through us laying ourselves aside -- getting out of our own heads and just living for Jesus. That is when we are truly who we were created to be.
Part of my cross is to be full-time caregiver. It is not something I chose. It just happened with my third biological child. We don't know why he was born as he was, but God created Hawk to shine for Him as much as any able-bodied person (often, more so). Now that he is 18 our days continue as they have since he was born -- though now I read a lot more to him than when he was an infant. It takes a lot of physical strength, emotional stamina and mental fortitude to be a full-time caregiver. The job is day in and day out -- 24 hours a day with rarely any breaks. The days can be dull. They days can be tedious (just like any life), but it's what God has called me to be. It is in doing this faithfully, in taking this cross and finding contentment in the life I've been given.
God has fully equipped me to do this, and most days I don't mind at all. I love our quiet life. If we are reading some really good books, the days are delightful. But I found myself straying emotionally from contentment. I wanted something different. I wanted to put my talents to use in other ways. I wanted to be in the action. I wanted something that was for me. I was carrying my cross in a grudging sort of way. It was crushing my spirit. I was getting depressed and falling into despair.
I got off track and that caused pain.
Are you discontent? Could you be despising the cross God has given you?
Choose gladly to carry your cross (whatever it is) each and every day. Daily we must choose to pick it up again and thank God for it. If we don't we will be discontent and may turn bitter. And that is an ugly place to be.