Ever been there, disappointed so then you come up with the clever idea to avoid God?
I found myself being really busy. Being busy is not a difficult thing for me, because there is always something to do. However I must recognize that just because there is always something to do doesn’t mean I have to get it done right away or that I always have to be the person for the job. I have mastered the act of conveniently making myself busy when I just don’t want to deal with the issue at hand. Sometimes the issue is just too painful and requires too much self inspection so I avoid Him. This is not to say I don’t pray or acknowledge God but my prayers remain at the surface. I choose not to quiet my spirit long enough to not only tell God all, but to be still to also hear His response. I pour out my heart and “run” before God can address me. It is easy to justify thoughts and feelings when these thoughts are not being challenged. But to grow, I must be challenged. So here I am this morning God, not only to cast my burdens on you, but I am also choosing to be still to hear your response. Your response that brings loving correction. Your response that is more interested in fixing me over the issue at hand. Your response that brings the the right perspective and peace. Truth is, when I avoid God’s response, I miss out on great blessings.
“We must spend time together now because when the kids are grown and gone it will just be us. We dont want to end up being strangers.”. These are the lines I use with my husband to sell the idea of a monthly date night. I have heard of couples divorcing once the kids are gone. Why? Because they poured so much time and energy into raising the children and the marriage was neglected. What a sad ending but it makes sense. How can I enjoy spending time with someone who became a stranger over the years? This is not to say we are not to raise our children but we must prioritize correctly.
I began to think about eternity. You know, eternity is forever and ever and ever….it’s amazing how we casually talk about it. We are all going to spend eternity in one of two places, heaven or hell. Most claim they are going to spend an eternity with a God they don’t even have a relationship with now. If I don’t worship him now, what makes me think I will be able to or even want to worship Him for all eternity? It’s not just about going to church and being a good person. It’s about having communion with The Lord, totally surrendering all to Him. It’s about Him being our life not an afterthought. If He is a stranger to me now, then I won’t be invited to the party. As we all make news years resolution, let a right relationship with Jesus be at the top of the list because after the new year has come and gone, eternity still awaits us all!
Some days I am tempted to nominate, second, and approve myself as wife and mother of the year. On these days my activities go as planned, the new recipe I tried for dinner was a winner and all is well and I think, “I GOT THIS.” BUT these days are few and far between. Recently an older cousin stayed with me for a few days. She was such a blessing and she helped me to realize how much I needed help. Being needy in this case is not a bad thing. The old adage no man is an island is so true. God did not design us to go at it alone. On his earthly tour, Jesus, the son of God had 12 disciples. What makes me think that God is expecting me to do this alone? I am slowly recognizing that I don’t have to be supermom and that it is ok to ask for and receive help. This admittance takes a great level of vulnerability and humility. Pride tries to convince me that being needy is for the weak. It whispers, “you are smart enough, strong enough, no one can do it like you can.” But it is true, God does resist the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). And believe me when I say I am in desperate need of God’s grace.
This mindset of asking for help also applies to our walk with God. None of us have to fight the devil by ourselves. Perhaps you are struggling in a certain area but don’t want to admit it to anyone. Purpose in your heart that you will not let pride cause you to carry the same baggage into 2014. Build relationships with godly people, ask for prayer, let down your guards and confess your sins to another (James 5:16.). It brings healing and liberation!
I can admit that I still struggle. Struggle to accept the grace of God. I have such a works mentality. Yesterday I missed my quiet time with the Lord. This was not intentional but baby number 6 got up earlier than usual and required my attention. I am almost ashamed to admit it but I was beating myself up for missing this time. I felt that somehow God was not gonna move on my behalf because I didn’t put in the “work” that morning. Therein lies the problem, there is too much of an emphasis on me doing as opposed to resting and receiving what Christ has already done. Gods grace is not to be abused or taken for granted, nor is it to be rejected…such a delicate balance. Yes we should strive to have daily communion with God, it is a great benefit to us and it pleases the Father. But we must not reject the grace of God when unpredictable moments happen; trust that the Lord sees and will honor the desire that we have to be in His presence.
One of the most difficult and sometimes frustrating things about parenting is repetition. It’s easy to feel like there is no progress because you are doing the same things OVER and OVER! The end is nowhere in sight. I clean the kitchen, its mealtime and guess what; I have to clean it again. I wash all the laundry, only to wake up the next day to a pile of dirty clothes. And let’s not even get started with the task of training children. I tell my two year old, “No,” only to turn around to see him doing the same forbidden thing. Constant repetition! However, I recognize I must keep at it or settle for chaos if I choose to stop. If I grow tired of cleaning the kitchen, we would end up eating in filth, and thats if we are even able to eat for lack of clean dishes, If I choose not to do the laundry, my family would be a mess. If I choose not to consistently train my children, they will be undisciplined and bring me shame (proverbs 29:15). SO while repetition can seem unproductive, that’s the furthest thing from the truth. Progress is being made!
The same is true for spiritual disciplines. I must not grow weary in repeatedly seekng Gods face in prayer, reading of his word, and regular fellowship with other believers; these habits make me more Like God. The opposite is also true, if I neglect to repeat these practices, chaos is inevitable. I get spiritually disoriented, my anger causes me to sin, I spew out hurtful and harmful words to those I love because I have not been filled up. Lack of repetiton in these areas render me powerless and I am unable to resist the devil (James 4:7). When I don’t spend time with Jesus, My perspective is jaded, I see my children as a burden instead of a blessing. Resentment can build. I become overly sensitive, emotionally unstable,easily annoyed, and have an inward focus (Philippians 2:3-4).
Keep at it, repetition does bring progress, and even perfects!
It is so easy for me to get distracted. I start cleaning my living room and go to the kitchen to get something and before you know it, I start cleaning the kitchen, forgetting about the living room. I go on the internet to google great colors to paint your kitchen and also begin to look up colors for the closet. There are times where I am “accidentally” distracted. However, most of the time I am actively looking for a distraction in attempts to avoid something that needs to be addressed.
The other morning I was exhausted and desperately needed to clean my house but I was LOOKING for something to distract me. I didn’t want to think, I didn’t want to move. Then it happened. I heard the Holy Spirit whisper ever so gently inviting me be distracted by Him. Now there is a thought for you! What if in my moments of fatigue, desperation, and despair I run to the Lord to distract me? This is certainly not a novel idea. The Lord has already made this invitation to all of us in Mathew 11:28, when He said, “…Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
We look for distractions because we don’t want to deal with whatever is before us. When I allow the Lord to be my distraction, He gives me rest and I don’t become overwhelmed or consumed by the very thing I am running from. When I sit in His presence, I get refreshed, gain wisdom, find peace and abiding joy! Very much a worthwhile distraction!