Friday, October 8, 2021

The Need for Margin


BySarah Geringer 

It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.

Psalm 127:2 NLT

I'm learning to create more margin in my daily life. As a hard-driven Enneagram 1 perfectionist, this is a challenge for me. But I'm listening to the truth in today's focus verse, and it speaks to me about the need for margin.

I grew up with a strong work ethic being modeled for me. And I'm thankful for this trait passed down to me. However, I can push this good trait to the extreme, working myself too hard. Packing too many things in to a tight schedule. It's tempting to keep working hard at all the things in my life: writing, managing my household, volunteering and more.

Working hard can be tempting, because it produces real results. When I work hard and produce much, I feel validated. But I'm learning to find my identity in Christ rather than in what I produce. As I lean into margin, my anxiety decreases, and I can relax more easily in God's rest.

Creating more margin is simply redeeming the edges of my schedule. The old me crammed "just one more thing" in, time after time, right up to the limits. But this made me feel rushed, stressed and frazzled. I find pockets of peace every time I let myself simply "be" in the margins rather than getting one more thing ticked off my to-do list.

The margins I'm using are short and sweet. An extra ten minutes sitting in the school pickup line lets me enjoy moments with God, whether it's through listening to Christian music or reading a Christian book. Sometimes I just sit with my eyes closed, receiving God's love for me in prayer. Leaving ten minutes earlier helps curb my temptation to speed and get frustrated with slower drivers. The margins help me not only minister to my own needs, but be more kind and compassionate to others.

The margins help me preserve my peace of mind, and that's important. God wants us to love others as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:37-40), so we must set aside time for self-care. When we don't, we become less loving toward both ourselves and others. Margins are a great place to grab moments of rest, even in a busy schedule.

Where are the margins in your life that can be redeemed for your good? I challenge you to redeem at least one 10-minute margin per day for the next week. Simply "be" before the Lord, letting him show his love for you. I pray that as you redeem the margins in your life, your peace will increase, and your spirit will settle into God's rest.

Here's a prayer to encourage you too:

Father God,

Thank you for the gift of work.

It feels good to check things off my to-do list.

However, I sometimes push work to the extreme.

When I push myself so hard, I become anxious and stressed.

Teach me to receive the rest you provide, because you love me.

Help me redeem the margins in my life..

May I experience pockets of peace in my day when I rest with you.

In Jesus' name,


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1 comment:

  1. Loved this >> "Help me redeem the margins in my life." We need to remember margins are redemptive. They are needed for a r4eason and end up making us more productive and in effective. Thank you for this, Sarah.


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