The question was asked of me this morning…paraphrasing… “Are you saying essential oils help Christians overcome sinful patterns? Isn’t it the work of the Lord through the Holy Spirit that makes us more like Christ?”
I’m glad she asked. Because I want to make sure God gets all the glory!
I’d like to start by confirming that we each own our own sin. We can’t blame our bad attitude or our sinful responses on our circumstances, our hormones, our health, exhaustion, pregnancy, pain, or any other sort of human frailty we may experience in life. We are sinners in need of a Savior. We are weak, but He is strong!
It is because of Christ alone and His perfect sacrifice on the Cross that we are saved. And it is because of the work of the Holy Spirit that we are sanctified, day by day, moment by moment!
The Melt Down
So here’s a question for you…what happens when you take a two-year-old to the grocery store before lunch time…and way past nap time? Rushing an exhausted, hungry two-year-old through the grocery store is one of my least favorite memories of motherhood. Physically stressed toddlers can get demanding, unhappy, and absolutely irrational.
Have you ever experienced the temptation for similar melt downs during pregnancy, adrenal fatigue, menopause, illness, or other hormone/health fluctuations? I have. And it’s been eye-opening. And humbling. God created us as spiritual AND physical beings. See Mothering Under the Influence
The thing is…the nourished and well-rested two-year-old is no less sinful than the exhausted, cranky, hungry one. The difference is that the wise mother planned ahead to make it as easy as possible for her child NOT to sin. She’s helped her child to be in a state of physical health that is conducive to self-control.
She gets it that a balanced physical body helps to produce a balanced emotional response to the stresses of life. We have a responsibility to do this for ourselves too.
Not that this is an excuse for sin, and not that it means that God can’t supernaturally intervene and give us the strength to rise above our physical weaknesses and respond well in spite of our frailty; but, He gets to decide the means. It’s not godlier for us to accept his supernatural provision and reject His physical help.
Though Trials Should Come…
PMS and menopause are nothing new. We’re told not to be surprised by exhaustion, grief, and stress in this fallen world (John 16;33). But, remember, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Did you catch that? In His faithfulness, He provides us with a “way of escape.” What is that “way of escape?” No doubt, it looks different in different circumstances; but often, it’s about being proactive. Following the leading of the Holy Spirit to avail ourselves of those things God has graciously provided to assist us.
This is where healthy eating, using supplements to nourish and balance what’s out of balance, exercise, a healthy thought life, and yes, even using essential oils, can make a huge difference in how easy it is for us to respond to life with self-control, patience, endurance, and love. All of it is a “way of escape” from temptation—a gift of God that I for one don’t want to reject or neglect! You can read about my journey to Life After Exhaustion HERE.
Yes, the struggle is REAL! And yes, there is a time to weep, but don’t forget that God delights in extending mercy. He provides for us in every way. Don’t let fear, pride, or guilt keep you from His daily provision.
Put on the oil of gladness for crying out loud! And let your face shine with a little frankincense or vetiver! Let your heart be merry! Don’t convince yourself that it’s godlier to continue in sackcloth and ashes when God is calling you to arise to a joyful sunrise!
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5