The following is from Bible Study my sister and I wanted so badly to get up and going. One of the things I thought the Lord was whispering to me to do but as it turns out it didn’t work out the way I thought it would. And that alone felt like I had failed in some way – but looking back I see it wasn’t a failure and neither was I! It’s choppy … but it was just my notes and I’m posting for background on this post – A Thousand Thoughts and No Plan!
Sister Chicks – September 10, 2011
Another word for tired is weary – maybe that gives this feeling a better definition. As Christians we’re taught to “forgive and forget”, love unconditionally, see the best in everyone and every circumstance, and just simply have faith.
I my early teens, I had to memorize the ENTIRE chapter of 1 Corinthians 13, and the last verse always stuck with me the most … which is basically love is the most important. What is love? Defined by Webster as “a strong affection”, but isn’t it SO MUCH more than that? I guess the better question to ask is “Who is love?” In the book of Mark we read
17-18 God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. ****There is no room in love for fear.**** Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
19 We, though, are going to love—love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first.
20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both.
God – God IS love.
So, here we are, dealing with day to day life. Getting up and then rushing to gets kids fed and off to school … working so hard (sometimes at a job we really would rather not be at), trying to get from work to soccer and manage to feed our families something that’s at least a little healthy, struggling with unanswered questions, or just trying to figure out how you’re going to get 3 kids in the back seat (wondering if they’ll be able to buckle themselves) when you’re baby is born and really just wanting a minivan, but no we have to be practical! Oh and did you read your Bible today? Did you get the groceries? The list goes on and on … why aren’t I getting pregnant, what was so and so thinking doing that? Did I handle that situation the way Jesus would have had me handle?
(1) Love is greater than faith and hope because love is eternal, while faith and hope is temporal (see 1 Corinthians 13:8-13). Because that which God has promised cannot presently be seen, faith and hope are necessary in this life. But when the perfect comes, when our Lord returns and we are living eternally in His presence, we will no longer need faith, for we shall see Him and experience all that He has promised. Our hope will be fulfilled. Our love for Him, however, will last for all eternity, inspiring our worship and service in His presence.
1 John 4:16-21
New Living Translation (NLT)
16 We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world.18 such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 19 We love each other[a] because he loved us first.20 If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister,[b] that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see? 21 And he has given us this command: Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.[c]
35 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? 36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”[a]) 37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.
2 Thessalonians 3:3-5
3 But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.[a]4 And we are confident in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we commanded you. 5 May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.
We are dealing with this day to day reality … but reality is not based on what we see.
1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
So, we are tired? But…
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as you know that labor is not in van in the Lord.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
PUT GOD FIRST >>> PUT LOVE FIRST?
Psalm 91:2 my refuge and fortress my god in whom I trust
Losing hope … growing tired and weary,
Not forgiving? Even if we’re still hurting? Even if they haven’t asked for it?
Greatest is LOVE.
Fair warning, the title is deceiving.
When we were building our house I heard so many times that we needed lots of closet space. I even remember My father-in-law saying a family needs about 600 sf of living space and 3000 sf of storage! So, I made sure we have lots of closets! After all, this is THE house – built on family land – it’s ours to keep and take care of forever – no “in our next home” here.
As is turns out, though, I’m a pack rat – and I came up with this master plan to de-clutter this home over time – because I’m very short on that always. I decided to give myself approximately one week per room (depending on the room) – a few minutes here and there to go through everything, clean and purge. Then on Saturdays I’d take everything I’ve gathered and donate it to a local charity that helps women in abusive situtations. Sounds good doesn’t it. I even got my home binder out (which is really a skeleton of a home binder) and wrote out most everything I wanted to accomplish in each room – that way I could check it off because who doesn’t love checking things off a to do list?!?!
Guess how much I’ve got done? I dusted the master bedroom and donated some clothes that I had already gathered – it’s been a month. I was hoping to have about four rooms done.
Also, as it turns, the planning actually wore me out – the thought of everything I’d have to actually do in the midst of all the other day to day obligations like work and laundry was a bit overwhelming. So, I’m taking it easy and choosing not be beat myself up over a timeline. Sure, I still want to do it and I will … sometime. I’m taking everything I do one step at a time – asking my Heavenly Father for help in it all – even cleaning my house.
How do you handle it all? Work, Meaningful Family Time, Laundry …
I’m a planner. A list maker. But as it turns out, that’s all I am. I can’t seem to get from planning to doing to finishing. As I type, I have a load of whites spread across my living room floor that has been there all night, I have a ton of paper work to do (my desk is under there somewhere), laundry, signs to finish (the actual job that makes the moolah – note I said finish not start because I’m in the middle of several), a house to declutter (the big project for the year – for which I have a great 6 page plan! but that’s another post that I thought I’d have on here by now) ( and I did remember the link – click here for that)
And I’m thinking now God and Jesus are sitting there chuckling at me – I can see Them pointing down and smiling at me “she’s at again … list making … everything she wants to get done.”
But this mornings devo took me by surprise. It was from book called Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. It said: Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning, Instead, let thankfulness and trust be your guides through this day; they will keep you close to me … you will cease to notice how weak or strong you feel, because you are focusing on Me.”
One, the Lord has really been dealing with me about FOCUS. Like I said there are usually a thousand things running through my head a minute. Two, I can’t remember right now because I forgot while I typed one. Three, I wrote notes for a Bible Study a while back entitled “I’m tired.” I’ll post that and link up for some background soon (maybe… we’ll see – and I did manage to do that too – click here for that). Four, one of THE verses to go with that devo is THE first I’ve penned in the front of my prayer journal – Psalm 29:11 – which I don’t think I’ve shared with anybody – it’s been my prayer over my family for a while now. It says ” the Lord gives His people strength – He blesses them with peace.”
I have to ask myself, can I really stop planning? Can I really trust Him enough? But as it turns out, He’s always got my back – He’s always working on my behalf. When he sees me planning and analyzing and knowing all the while those plans will backfire. So, I’m just taking it one step at a time – as Jesus leads. At some point, it will all get done … maybe not my plans or how I expected to do it … but His.
Thank you Father for these God lessons – may I always appreciate them. Amen.
Are you a planner, a list maker? How do you make yourself focus in the midst of kids and bills and work to get it finished?