“Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Last week someone asked if I was ready for Christmas. I said yes. This week…not so much. The last minute baking, food prep, packing for travel and that one-more-box of cards to buy leave me feeling unprepared.
With every task I check off, the to-do list only seems to grow. What happened to being ready?
Mary got it right. She focused on what mattered. She spent time with the Lord rather than bustling around with preparations. Yes, chores have to be done. But approaching the list with a fresh attitude is key.
This Christmas, I’m trying to remember to take a breather. To sit at the fit of Jesus before the preparations of the day. To listen. To pray. I want to focus on what can’t be taken away.
Lord, grant your presence. Be my calm before the day begins, remain during the hustle and bustle, and linger long after the last plate is washed and crumbs are swept.
“Your words are what sustain me; they are food to my hungry soul. They bring joy to my sorrowing heart and delight me…” Jeremiah 15:16 (LB)
When I find myself depleted spiritually or emotionally, there’s a place to refill the tank…the Word.
God’s word is spiritual nourishment. It is much needed fuel for the day and satisfies completely. His word restores and energizes. It comforts and encourages. It’s packed full of health food for the soul—like peace, wisdom and strength.
The Word keeps me alive spiritually. When I’m feeling down, it restores joy. The Word brings light into dark and hope into disappointments. It settles me when I’m anxious and calms me when I am afraid.
Thank you for your Word, Lord. It satisfies like nothing else.
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” Psalm 119:18
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'” Isaiah 55:8-9
God doesn’t operate like we do. His thoughts aren’t our thoughts and his ways aren’t our ways. There’s no figuring him out. But he has given us the word that we might know him, as much as our finite minds can grasp.
The thoughts of God
no man can know—
higher than the heavens
and unlike my own.
The ways of the Lord,
who can discern?
The path of his footsteps—
impossible to learn.
But to those who seek
he willingly gives
his thoughts, his ways
his life—to live.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.” Isaiah 55:6
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 19:13
“…For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
Timidity has been my lifelong, unwanted companion. Fear has been the third wheel. Together we’re content to be pasted on the wall. The back wall.
My natural weaknesses force me to depend on God. I have to allow him to be strong where I am weak. And he has been. He continues to deliver me from over-sensitive, self-conscious tendencies.
I can tell when the timidity returns—expressing thoughts becomes like driving on a gravel road full of pot holes and I simply go quiet. I’d rather write it than say it.
But where I am weak, he is strong. He helps me face the timidity and drive past the pot holes. Weak areas become places of the Lord’s strength.
Is there an area in which you feel insufficient? Is this weakness an ongoing challenge? Let the insufficiencies be a reminder to turn to the Lord for his strength. He longs to be strong where you are weak!
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16
A friend of mine calls jogging “wogging,” a mixture of walking and jogging. My wogging style is a slow sad trot—when the weather’s nice!
As much as I might huff and puff, there’s no way around it. This physical body is not what it used to be and I’m on the downhill slide.
Missing a few weeks of wogging means I’ll have to build up again when I resume my routine; I can’t just jump back in at the same level. Fight it all you want but there’s no way to stop aging, even with exercise and a healthy diet.
Inwardly, it’s a different story. There’s hope for the inside. The inside can be renewed day by day. He refreshes the spirit. He gives love, joy and peace. When I let him, he restores a thankful spirit. I don’t have to stay stuck in a bad attitude.
So, how am I taking care of the inside? Am I taking time to exercise the prayer life? Am I consuming a healthy mental diet? Daily servings of God’s Word bring spiritual strength. Weekly worship refreshes the spirit.
The outside is going to give out completely one day, but the inside will live forever. Take care of the outside, but focus on the inside!
“…To enjoy your work and to accept your lot in life—that is indeed a gift from God. The person who does that will not need to look back with sorrow on his past, for God gives him joy.” (TLB)
When I reach the end of time on earth I’d like to look back without regret. I’d like to maximize each life stage for the Lord.
When one accepts his lot in life
And in his work finds happiness,
His days will then be occupied
With a heart chocked full of gladness.
It is indeed a blessing,
To contentedly spend one’s days,
Free from second guessing
And no regrets from yesterday.