Have you ever felt like a car that is stuck in a mud slick? You keep pressing on the gas pedal, but you are only spinning your wheels.

You are trying to move forward but not going anywhere!

And the spinning drains your joy tank!

I meet with a spiritual friend every Saturday on the phone. These times are a highlight of my week. Our discussions help me stay aware of how God is revealing Himself. My friend is so hungry and thirsty to grow in God. This inspires and ignites me.

Why do we spin?

One of the themes we sense God showing both of us is to get off the hamster wheel of do-more-try-harder self-effort. We both come from a long line of hard workers. This is good in lots of ways. The sad part of the emphasis on hard work is that for as long as we can remember, we have felt that our value comes from how hard we work. And when we don’t feel valuable, we just try harder.

What does God show us?

As we shared the other week, my friend told me she sensed God ask her this question: “What has trying harder ever got you?”

We knew it was another reminder that spinning on the hamster wheel was not helping.

As I reflected on the question, “What has trying harder ever got you?” I thought of the verse from the gospels. Jesus was teaching that worry, toiling, spinning doesn’t produce what only God can produce. Flowers cannot spin their own raiment, but it is more glorious than Solomon’s fine garments.

 “Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. Luke 12:25-27 NASB 1995


The context of the verse uses the word spinning as the making of clothing. For me, spinning is:

  • trying to produce something that only God can.
  • using an enormous amount of effort and energy for nothing.

Also in the verse is the word “toil”. It means “to labor until worn-out, depleted (exhausted).”

I have done many things that I thought were good ideas, but they ended up as toil. They were not inspired by God. My pride keeps pushing me to try harder to make it work. Alas, they have drained my tank.

Thankfully, I know how to return to His place of rest. His loving arms are always there. He tells me to come to Him. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Your Turn

Is there something you are doing right now that is depleting you?

Take a moment right now, as Jesus taught, to CONSIDER the lilies. Think about God’s nature and His work.