Years ago Time Magazine had a cover with a woman, dressed in a business suit, juggling several things while carrying a baby in her arms and holding a briefcase. The title article of that issue was about how women of our generation could do it all. The ultimate woman. It was meant to empower those of us who aspired to raise a family but didn’t want to lose our identities in the seemingly meaningless drivel (and drool) of caring for children. I remember the jolt of energy that ran through me as I viewed that image. I could do it! I could have it all!
Oh, how times have changed me.
Now, I just want to know, what is “all” anyway? A great career (in which I’d have to excel), a big house (I’d have to maintain), a wonderful husband (I’d never see) and perfect children (whom I’d raise in my spare time—ha!)? And the other question: Would “all” really make me happy? I mean, isn’t that the whole reason we want “all” in the first place?
Now, when I think about that image from the Time magazine cover, I immediately experience a weight pouring into my cells like molten lead running through my veins. It’s wearying to me to even contemplate.
Because … I’m not able.
Not only can I not do all of these things by myself, but the running after them is much like what Solomon called “a chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 1:14). I no longer want to follow empty promises, but God’s hope and future (Isaiah 29:11). I want to be filled with His dreams and dive into His plans.
But before I develop a new picture of me, holding a large, gilded-edged Bible in one hand, and a cross strapped on my back, I need to realize … I’m still not able. I need His help to guide me, to strengthen me and to release my cross from its bindings. In short, I need Him.
But before we sigh despondently at the idea of being so needy, let’s look at its joys. Needing Him allows me to be in His presence, to gain His help, to know His love. Had I done it all on my own, I’d have none of these. A far cry from the lady balancing the baby and the briefcase. More like a woman resting in the Son.