Don’t be like the camel

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month; “The end of anxiety and despair”
Our Bible verse for today: “I am able to do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Don’t be like the camel.”
I love the story John Eldredge tells about the camel in his book, “Resilient: Restoring Your Weary Soul in These Turbulent Times”. The camel is an amazing beast – strong, resilient, dependable, and with incredible stamina. The camel can carry heavy loads across a burning desert and go for weeks without water.
But the camel does have a weakness, a glaring one – an Achilles’ heel that literally kills it. The camel will keep going for hundreds of miles, giving no indication that it is getting tired or weak and then suddenly, it will fall over dead. Just like that. One minute it appears to be fine, the next it collapses and dies. The reason that happens is because the camel’s reserves of water, food, energy, and strength were all being progressively depleted without being renewed, but the camel is so strong and so resilient that it gave no indication of the dangerous depletion that was taking place until it was too late.
People can be like that. Especially dedicated Christians. We take Philippians 4:13, abuse it, stretch it to justify pushing ourselves too hard, and we suffer because of it. We dutifully trudge onward, carrying our loads, meeting our responsibilities, working harder and longer, and all the while our soul is being depleted without being renewed. Our spiritual, emotional, and physical reserves are getting dangerously low but we show no signs of it. Of course not. That would be weakness, and we certainly can’t admit to being weak, or needy, or even tired.
And so, we trudge on. Until we don’t. Until we fall over dead. Well, maybe not literally dead. Maybe we just suddenly bail out of our ministry activities; or we sink into a deep depression; or we quit our job, get a red Corvette and a blonde, and move to the coast. You know what I’m talking about.
We have the same Achilles’ heel that the camel does. We can force ourselves to keep going even while we’re getting dangerously close to falling apart. This is the cause of much of the anxiety and despair that people suffer from. We push ourselves too far for too long, and then we collapse.
The thing is, the camel could have been saved if it had just been properly cared for. If it had been given adequate water, food, and rest – even if it didn’t appear to need it – the camel would have been fine. The same is true for us. We have to take care of ourselves. Taking proper care of ourselves will go a long way towards preventing anxiety and depression to begin with, and it will help us to avoid just suddenly dropping dead (literally or figuratively), like the camel.
Don’t be the camel. Take care of yourself.
God bless,
Pastor Jim
Copyright © 2022 Oak Hill Baptist Church, All rights reserved.

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