For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven...a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted...a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance...a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:1-7
Are you a new mom? Perhaps you've just had a tragedy in your family. Maybe you're fighting through depression or a difficult financial season. Perhaps you're a college student in the midst of a heavy course load.
Life is a series of varying seasons of plenty and want, joy and sorrow, peace and unrest. Some of these seasons stand alone and some of them overlap. And some seasons make hospitality and neighboring seem nearly impossible.
And that is ok.
God has not called us to love our neighbors to earn His favor or add one more thing to our never ending to-do list. God has invited us to join Him in redeeming His creation. Forming relationships with those closest to us is an honor and a gift.
But if you're in a difficult season it is ok for you take a break from mission and allow yourself to be ministered to. God does not want you walking around with another weight on your already heavy shoulders. He is not condemning you. Instead He wants you to receive his love and peace.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. Romans 8:1-3
If you're in a difficult season here are some simple ideas for being hospitable with yourself:
- Connect to a community. In difficult seasons our natural tendency can be to isolate from others. Do the opposite. Text a friend. Join a small group. It may be hard to pursue others but you need relationship now more than ever.
- Ask for help. Perhaps you need meals or financial help. Maybe you just need someone to drop by with a latte. It is hard to articulate our needs but it is necessary. Allow God to meet your needs through others by communicating them.
- Be open. I am always surprised by how God can use me in even my most difficult seasons. This is especially true when I am able to help someone else even with something as small as a quarter.
This post is part of the 31 Days of Neighboring series.