Friday, July 15, 2016

Everything In Stages - Dinner #69

    Everything in life comes in stages.  I say it and think it so very often.  I feel like it’s the motto of my motherhood.  Yesterday was yet another proof of that.  Ever since we moved into this house, and began helping out with the teens at our church, my husband has been itching to use our 2-acre yard for a teen activity.  But the May following our move, I delivered Cheyenne, and then I gave birth to Charlotte the summer after that.  I was either huge, emotional, and completely in “baby mode”, or emotional, nursing, and in sleepless newborn mode . . . It wasn’t the right timing.  It wasn’t the right stage. 
     But this year? This year I have a 10-month-old, and I’m able to wear clothes from my college days.  This year, I’ve been able to chase the kiddos around the yard and be active during the summer months. This year it was the right “stage” to host 20+ people in our home.  And we had an amazingly rewarding, fun time doing it, too!  Leis, fresh pineapple, a hilarious skit, water games . . . I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!  It was an opportunity to serve alongside my husband in a ministry, and to further connect with the precious young people in our church. 
     I wasn’t ready those other years . . . I needed to say “no” to a lot of ministry opportunities.  Sometimes, I was doing all I could just to teach children’s church for a month, every 2 or 3 months, and get myself up in the choir loft once in a while.  And that was alright! I was doing what I NEEDED to be doing!  I was delivering babies, recovering from labors, caring for newborns, being there for my other children, homeschooling preschool, potty training, trying not to fall under the weight of the overwhelming day-to-day . . . And you may be there, too, right now!  You can’t do it ALL, and the Lord doesn’t expect you to!  There are STAGES! Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To every thing, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
     In what “season of life” do you find YOURSELF?  Are you doing what God has asked of you, TODAY?  To do less is sinful, and to do MORE is sinful!  What?! Yes!  Remember Mary and Martha?  Martha didn’t NEED to be rushing about cooking and cleaning for everybody – it wasn’t the right time!  The LORD was there! In her own home!  She should have been sitting at his feet and LISTENING! Gleaning, growing . . . There were other days to focus on the housework.  And those “other days” come to all of us, in various areas of our lives.  It makes me think of the parable of the sower, where “ . . . the cares of this world . . . choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.” (Mark 4:19) I'm certain that the majority of those Christian ladies who run about, trying to be involved in every ministry and activity possible, truly DESIRE to be spiritually fruitful! But they CAN’T BE, if it is just “too much”! It doesn’t do THEM any good, nor their families, nor the people they are seeking to minister to!
     My husband and I are diligently praying about a certain country in a particular region of the world, where we could minister to literally millions of people who are lost without any hope in the Savior . . . We have so many “circumstantial evidences” that this may be what the Lord has for us to do, so many words of godly advice that have been given to us - but we desire a Word from the Lord – a verse from God’s Word to stand on, in this.  And as we have been reading about “seeking God’s will”, “finding God’s will”, “hearing God’s voice” . . . we have been learning, over and over again, that so much of “finding God’s will” for the future, is DOING God’s will, today! Being OBEDIENT to Him, today! Letting Him use the “stage” of life that He has us in, RIGHT NOW. 
     Are you doing ALL you can do for Christ, TODAY?  Are you doing “TOO MUCH” – way more than God EVER intended for you to take upon your own two shoulders – and, perhaps, neglecting the most important things of all?
     Sometimes God’s will involves taking on more than you THINK you can handle, because GOD is the source of your strength and your power (Philippians 4:13).  Sometimes God’s will for your day will involve “putting off” and “saying no” to things YOU felt were important, because God’s ways are “higher than your ways” and his “thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).  But are you SEEKING His will for your life? Not necessarily a calling to the mission field or to Christian service of some kind . . . Are you seeking His will for YOUR DAY, TODAY? 
     It is a familiar passage to many, but just this week, the Lord used Proverbs 3:5-6, once again, in my own life: “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  May we each be able to pray along with the Psalmist David, “I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” (Psalm 40:8)  DELIGHT in it!  Whether it be nursing, or homeschooling, or frosting two dozen cupcakes . . . “I delight to do thy will, O my God” . . . and I promise not to ADD anything to my day that You don’t want me to!  I promise, with Thy help, to ENJOY this stage of my life to the fullest . . . May I be a vessel fit for the Master’s use (II Timothy 2:21), TODAY!

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