Girlfriends in God - May 13, 2008


May 13, 2008

Oil Depleters

Sharon Jaynes


In Celebration of Mother’s Day, Sharon will have several devotions devoted to moms!


Today’s Truth

“And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there” (Mark 1:35 NIV).


Friend to Friend

Yesterday, we looked at oil-depleters in a mother’s life. Today, I want to get a little bit more specific. If you are not a mother, or if your children have already left the nest, read on. We empty nesters also struggle with oil-depleters.


What are some common oil-depleters among mothers? Here are a few: volunteering at school, helping in the community, counseling needy friends, taking care of other people’s children, teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir for all three services, cooking meals for everyone who has a baby in your church, working on the missions committee, chairing the PTA, leading a neighborhood Bible study, being on the decorations committee for the school homecoming, making costumes for all the animals in the school play, being a scout mother; den mother; and room mother; (all at the same time), taking care of aging parents, hosting supper club once a month…… Are you tired yet? I get tired just thinking about it.


These activities are very noble and worthy causes, but we must realize that we cannot do it all. Something will suffer. Our oil will run out. When it does, we know who will suffer the most - first ourselves, then our families. We must resist the tendency to be ruled by the tyranny of the urgent. We must learn how to say “no” without guilt.


Jesus provides a good example of how to set priorities and how to get refueled in Mark 1:35. “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.” Jesus kept His oil refilled by meeting with God first thing in the morning and getting alone to pray. It is also when He set His priorities for the day.


Verse 36 goes on to say: “’Simon and his companions hunted for Him, and they found Him, and said to Him, ‘Everyone is looking for you.’ And he said to them, ‘Let us go somewhere else to the towns nearby, in order that I may preach there also; for that is what I came out for.’”


Jesus had just conducted a healing service the night before, and the people in Capernaum wanted more. Was it a noble cause for Him to return and continue to minister? Yes, it was, but Jesus had set His priorities. He came to spread the gospel and that’s what He continued to do. He was not distracted by the tyranny of the urgent, but focused on the will of God. And because He had spent time with God, He had new oil in His lamp and knew exactly where He was to shine.


Spending time with the Lord each day will help keep our priorities in order as well as fuel the light to keep our beacons burning brightly in our homes. We can ask Him to show us with fresh eyes what we should do. When we ask, He guides our paths and instructs us in the way we should go (Psalms 32:8). He guides us in daily decisions. “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21). He also helps us to know when to say “yes” and when to say “no” with confidence.


What priority do your children have in your life? Most of us would readily say they are right there at the top. But is that what our calendars say? Where your treasure is (your time) there will your heart be also. The word priority means “to prefer.” Let’s make sure we prefer our children. When I was a teenager, I used to sing this little chorus that went,


“Give me oil for my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning.

Give me oil for my lamp I pray.

Give me oil for my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning.

Keep me burning ‘til the break of day.”


That song has taken on new meaning as I have become a beacon who desires never to let her lamp run dry.


Let’s Pray

Dear Lord, there are so many days when I get caught up and distracted by the tyranny of the urgent. Help me to be a woman who listens to Your still small voice and follows Your gentle nudge. I want to say “yes” to what you want me to say “yes” to and say “no” to what is not Your will for me today. Help me to detect and remove the oil-depleters from my life and to be filled with the oil of Your Holy Spirit.

In Jesus’ Name,



Now It’s Your Turn

What are some of the oil-depleters in your life? We all have them!


What are some of the oil-depleters that you can cut out?


What would you like to do for Jesus…if you had more time?


Could it be that God is waiting for you to clear some space on your calendar before He can give you His divine assignments?


More from the Girlfriends

If you are a mom who needs some encouragement today, you’ll want to read Sharon’s book, Being a Great Mom-Raising Great Kids. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you will know that you have one of the most important jobs on earth. And if you’re having trouble with balance, you’ll want to read Sharon’s book, A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life.



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Originally published Tuesday, 13 May 2008.