Hamster on a Wheel

By reading the title of this post I’m sure all ya’ll out there now have this image in your minds:

Well, that’s me! At least that is what I feel like lately. Seriously friends!  I feel as if I run and run and run … and I get no farther ahead on my large to-do list than when I started out … and with all that running I ain’t getting no skinnier either! All I get is EXHAUSTION! STRESS! ADULT ACNE!  And according to my little family … CRANKINESS. Ha!

I’ve actually been praying about this. You know, asking God to help me “organize better” … and “find better solutions” … and even maybe, just possibly, change physics (or whatever science controls time) and give me more hours in the day. I guess my OCD even shows up in my prayers sometimes too.

However, I never imagined that God would answer my prayers with a totally different solution. One that I never imagined.  What I heard God speak to my heart was BE STILL.

Say what?? I don’t think I heard you correctly there, God. You want me to BE STILL?? Yeah, right.

And so for days now I have wrestled with God over this “sitting still” thing.
Hmmm, is anyone out there getting a picture of Jacob here right now?

Anyhoo, moving on … I finally “got it” yesterday when this devotion came to my email inbox. I know, I should have gotten it right away.  I’m a slow learner, ok?!  If you know me at all you know this to be true!!  However, it touched me so deeply that I thought I would share it on my blog today as well.  Just in case there are other “Martha’s” out there like me.  I know I can’t be alone!!

Let me reiterate and say THIS IS NOT MY WORDING.  I ain’t this good folks at writing!!  This is actually by a lady named Mary Southerland.

Mary writes for and works with a group of three amazing women who make up “Girlfriends in God” … which is a daily devotion that I get sent to me every day.  I wish I could be them when I grow up 🙂

So, for all you “Martha’s” out there … this might be just what the doctor ordered:

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Today’s Truth
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NIV) “Now choose life…listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him.”

Friend to Friend

We not only must stop and be still in order to sit at the feet of Jesus we must learn to listen for His voice. Time spent seeking God and listening for His voice is vital to our spiritual growth. Countless voices clamor for our attention. The key to a balanced life is training our hearts toward God and teaching our spiritual ears to listen for His voice above all others.

I taught third grade for several years while my husband attended seminary.  My class was one of seven third grade classes, which meant that the first few days of school were chaotic. The PE teacher was a welcome sight when she appeared at my door to take the students outside. It was the responsibility of each teacher to pick up her students when PE was over. Seven teachers trying to get the attention of over two hundred students was especially interesting on the first or second day of school when the teachers didn’t know their students and the third graders didn’t know their teacher. However, after only a few days, an amazing thing happened every year. When the teachers lined up, it took only a word or two for the students to come running.  They quickly learned to recognize the voice of their new teacher above all the rest, because they listened to her voice all day long.

The voice of God comes to us in many ways, but every voice must be held up and measured against His main voice, the Word of God. To sit at the feet of Jesus, we must learn to stop, be still, and listen for His voice and then rest in what He has told us. Rest will not come until we have heard His truth. However, when we have learned and applied the truth of God we can then rest in Him and our world falls into balance. Resting in Him requires trust.

When our son, Jered, was seven years old, he fell while skateboarding, cut his chin and needed stitches. We raced to the nearest emergency clinic where we met a young doctor, who at first glance, seemed friendly enough. Jered, however, took one look at the strange doctor and panicked. It was his first experience with stitches. After several attempts to gain Jered’s trust and cooperation, the doctor grew impatient and said, “Son, this won’t hurt and if you cannot be still we will have to put you in restraints.” Now I had two major problems with those statements. First, I knew our son and there were not going to be any restraints placed on him because they were not necessary. Second, of course it would hurt. I looked at the doctor and explained, “If you will just tell Jered the truth and explain what you are doing he will be still for you.” The doctor looked at me as if I had just arrived from another planet and said, “Right!” Before I could rip off his head, Dan told the doctor we had a plan. I knew what my plan was but thought it wise to consider Dan’s first. Holding Jered’s head still, Dan softly explained what the doctor would do and told him to fix his eyes on me while I told a story. It worked. Jered calmed down and the stitches were done in a matter of minutes. Even though he did not fully understand or trust the process, Jered did fully understand and trust us.

Truth is always the basis for trust and trust is always the basis for rest. We rarely take time to stop, be still and listen, allowing His truth to soak into our hearts and minds where trust and faith grow strong on a steady diet of truth. As a result, our faith is weak and rest is hard to find. When we learn to sit at the feet of Jesus, we will know Him better, trust Him more and find the rest we so desperately crave. Clarity of purpose and a right focus will come. And that, my friend, is the cornerstone in a life of balance.

Oswald Chambers writes, “We can choke God’s Word with a yawn; we can hinder the time that should be spent with God by remembering we have other things to do. ‘I haven’t time!’ Of course, you have time! Take time, strangle some other interests, and make time to realize that the center of power in your life is the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Amen!

Let’s Pray
Father, I come to You today. I want to sit at Your feet and hear Your voice. Please forgive me for allowing other things and other people to have the place in my life that You should have. Right now, I surrender my heart and life to You and choose to sit at Your feet alone. Speak to me, Lord. I will listen and obey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn
What activities keep you from tuning in to the voice of God? Are you willing to give up those activities? Write out your commitment in your journal.

The main way God speaks to us is through the Bible. Do you have a consistent time for reading the Bible? If not, choose a time and a place where you will meet with God each day. Write out a prayer making a commitment to God to listen to His voice through the pages of your Bible and the Holy Spirit’s prompting.

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Wow!  Did you read all that?!  I know it was long but man, was it ever perfect??!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  In answer to her question, and in being honest with my bloggie friends, I must admit that sometimes quite a bit interferes with my tuning in to the voice of God.  I pray … but instead of sitting still and waiting to see what God might say … my pattern lately has been “In Jesus Name, Amen” and now up and running again.

So I am going to make the commitment she suggests.  I am going to make God my first thing priority every morning because for me the best time is before the family gets up.  What about you??  When do you find you’re at your best??

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