Today's daily devotion

Put on Your Own Mask First

Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.—Mark 6:31 (NIV)

Our infant daughter was seriously ill and required constant care. My wife and I determined that with our round-the-clock attention, our baby girl would survive and thrive. It was up to us, and we were ready. Sleeping just four hours a night, we ran for weeks on coffee, prayer and adrenaline. We were more than willing to sacrifice our health for hers. It worked for a while.

Just as water always finds the lowest level, fatigue always attacks the body’s weakest point. Mine was an arthritic knee. I woke one night to find it swollen, red and painful. It would take weeks to recover. Self-sacrifice felt noble, but it was foolish. Already slowed by lack of sleep, I was now hobbled on crutches and even less able to care for my child.

Caregivers have needs too. Sometimes they must come first. Jesus did that by making himself unavailable to others when he needed to be rejuvenated through prayer. Even flight attendants tell passengers to secure their own oxygen masks before assisting others. If we can’t breathe, we’re no help to anyone.

The next day I was ready to accept help. I called our insurer, who agreed to pay for respite care. We had a night nurse within days. We slept again. And we were once again able to give our full attention and best care to our precious child.

Lord, give me the freedom to sleep, to laugh, to play, so I can give more of myself to you.

Adapted from
Strength & Grace Magazine

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