Romans 5:6

When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Embracing Change and Maintaining Priorities

God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea ~ Psalm 46:1-2, NLT

Change is inevitable.  I’ve heard this my entire life, yet I often still have difficulties embracing it.  To know the Lord is to know the only One Who is consistent at all times.
Life has been somewhat of a whirlwind lately.  Admittedly I’ve had a few melt-down moments when it felt like no one noticed all I’ve been trying to juggle.  But isn’t it that way for all of us? Between work, classes, church planting involvement and not to mention learning this new role of being a wife, it’s easy to allow the Enemy to coax me to thinking no one has it as rough as me.  What a lie! We become ineffective in ministry when we spend our time planning and throwing pity parties for ourselves.  Satan wants nothing more than to cause us to think of only ourselves.  The more opportunities and responsibilities the Lord gives us the more it requires us to run to Him.  We cannot achieve life on our own.  Period.  We all have tons of responsibilities fighting for our attention.  Our main concern should be keeping Him as our priority.  There will always be dirty dishes, emails that require response, and laundry to fold.  Our attitude reflects what we deem as priority.  Our day to day handling of responsibilities reveals how much time we have spent with the Father.   Emails and dishes can wait. The Lord is beckoning to spend time with Him. The Lord desires for you and me to run to Him in the midst of every single need.  He is our refuge; He is our source of strength.  At the end of my life I don’t want to be known as one who sacrificed family time in order for more work to be accomplished.  I don’t want to be known now as one who prioritizes my relationship with the Lord as my last on the list.  I want to be known as a woman who runs after Jesus in all things.  Our priorities need to change…
What if you and I began to care only about what the Lord thinks of us?  This would go against everything the world teaches.  We will wear ourselves out trying to make people like us.  We will drive ourselves batty if we become too concerned with others opinions of us.  What would it look like if we as the Body really began to only care about what the Lord says of us?  Not everyone is going to like us.  This is OK!  Not everyone is going to appreciate us and our work ethic.  This is OK!  Jesus says just to run to Him.  He approves of us when we seek Him above all else… even with dirty dishes in the sink and emails that have been neglected.  When He truly becomes our refuge everything else will fall into place.  In the end my work won’t matter unless through it all He has been my source of strength and my refuge in every circumstance.
The Lord has reiterated the importance of running to Him and simply dwelling with Him through two recent happenings.  Christopher (my brother) came home to visit from his ministry efforts in Kentucky.  I was anxious about his homecoming and couldn’t wait to spend time with him.  Joseph and I made plans to meet him the day he got back into town, and even changed our schedule throughout the week to have him and his friend over for dinner.  Our time with the Lord should be approached with this enthusiasm and excitement.  When we don’t expect the Lord to speak He probably won’t. When we spend time with Him because we feel that we “have to” we won’t benefit from it… quick devotions and short quiet times do not equal running to Him as our refuge and strength.  If we are going to accomplish life well, we must be in His presence! 
Our life is not going to slow down.  We all have responsibilities to pay attention to, but through it all we must run to Him.  Melt down will occur.  Change will happen.  But how we handle every circumstance will determine what we are known for and who we are known to stand for.  This Sunday while doing the praise band run through, Lily (who just turned 1 year old) heard her dad’s voice coming from the stage.  Beau is our percussionist.  Lily heard him talking to us as we rehearsed and he noticed her coming towards him.  Lily ran as much as she could, as she hasn’t been walking terribly long.  Beau held his arms out for her.  His arms were her prize.  When we hear the Lord speaking to us and see His work in our lives so often it’s our tendency to blow it off or ignore it completely.  I want to be one who notices the Lord and runs hard and fast just to be in His arms, just to be with Him.  He is my prize!  Just like Beau embraced Lily when she made her way to him, the Lord desires to hold us tight as we find strength and refuge in Him.
Change is happening all around us.  Some good.  Some not so wonderful.  Knowing and serving the only One Who is constant is where we find strength.  It’s ok if we don’t accomplish everything the world thinks we should.  I believe that those of us belonging to Christ should become serious about really looking different than the world.  Because change is constant it can overwhelm us if we let it.  When we realize that it’s relationships with others and our relationship with Him that matter most we are able to embrace change… because through it all we know He is embracing us.
Until next time,