I just wish I could run away!
This thought bombarded my exhausted brain as I poured myself an extra-large cup of coffee. The demands of mothering three children, who were three years old and under, had left me drained. As wails came screeching through the baby monitor, my mind drifted to thoughts of runaway trains or tropical getaways.
In the haze of bottles and sippy cups and so.many.diapers, I found myself stretched thin and wrung dry. Whispers of bitterness began creeping into my heart. Middle-of-the-night feeds felt less like a sweet time with my baby and more like an infringement on my desperately needed sleep. My toddler’s tantrums felt less like teaching opportunities and more like annoyances I didn’t want to handle.
I knew I loved my children with every cell in my body–but I felt desperate for a break. Under my breath, I would whisper prayers like, “Lord, how can I keep going when my strength feels entirely spent?”
Have you ever been there? Maybe you’re in a season of exhaustion now. But, no matter the season or stage, we’re always vulnerable to burnout and fatigue as moms. Perhaps you’ve been bee-bopping along through the weeks and months, only to look up and realize you’re feeling drained of strength–physically, mentally, or emotionally.
What’s a weary mama to do?
In the thick of that wearying season, God directed my reading to the beautiful, hope-filled words of Psalm 71. Though written thousands of years ago, this scripture captures the tension of sorrow and joy we often hold as moms. It highlights the elation and exhaustion, the hope and fear, the praise and lament.
And when we face those times when our strength is spent, and we simply want to run away, the Psalmist gives us the far better option of running into the safety of our God:
“Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.” Psalm 71:3
On the days we think we can’t change another diaper, handle another tantrum, or solve another problem, God promises to be our rock–a solid place to stand, a source of strength that’s always waiting for us. The Psalmist also calls God his fortress, referring to a military stronghold. These fortresses provide places of rest and protection from outside influence or disturbance.
Dear one, when your strength runs out, will you run to Jesus and let Him be your never-ending source of strength? From the safety and security of our Rock, we can draw the power we need to keep loving and serving our families. We can lament our struggles and draw hope in knowing He will never leave or forsake us.
Whatever the season, whatever the struggle, let’s rest in the truth that God will carry us through. He’s our strength when we’re empty and our refuge in the chaos. In Him, we’ll find all we need to thrive–no runaway trains or tropical getaways needed.
**This devotional first appeared at Able Moms