Thursday, September 12, 2013

One Day at a Time

Almost two years ago, I signed up to receive a daily devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries. I love it, and I look forward to seeing it in my inbox every day when I get to work.

Today's devotional really touched me and I can't help but post it on here. It's so easy to get so "caught up" in life and feel overwhelmed. I know many of us are struggling with decisions, to-do lists, workloads, and more - and it's easy to start to wonder how, in the world, will we be able to handle next week, next month, and so on?

As far as work goes, my mind is already in October, November and January - juggling a few projects and trying to stay ahead so I can really enjoy a real vacation in the coming weeks. Mix that with a few last-minute details for the wedding, and I have no idea what's going to happen.

Thankfully, though, the Lord does.

And he's got it.

There's an old hymn I grew up singing, and still sing in church today -- but no matter what, it still rings true.

One day at a time, sweet Jesus...
that's all I'm asking from you...
Just give me the strength
to do every day
what I have to do.
...So for my sake,
Lord teach me to take
one day at a time.

Thoughts of tomorrow may make us cringe. Thinking of next month may overwhelm us.
And thinking of everything in between may make it hard to breathe.

Good news is, though...God's got it under control.

While we may know this, it can be difficult to remember when you're caught up in a situation. Trust me on this, I know how that feels.

But take it from someone who has {almost} come out on the other side.

It's going to be okay. One way or the other. It won't be like this forever.

There are days where I have no idea what to do. Like the writer says below, we all long to hear God's voice audibly, telling us FOR SURE what to do.

But that's not always the case; we're not always sure. But somewhere, at some point, there will be that still, small voice calling you - leading you - in the way that you should go.

"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
-Psalm 31:24

I'm thankful for you today.

Today's Devotion:

September 12, 2013
Should I Quit?
Lysa TerKeurst
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28 (NIV)
We all have those times we wish the voice of God would audibly speak so loudly there's no way we could miss it: "THIS IS THE DIRECTION I WANT YOU TO GO." Then we'd know whether to stay the course or head in a new direction.
Have you ever wished for this kind of certainty?
I have.
Most of us want to know what to do. Without that confidence, sometimes we stay in a place too long. But the greater loss happens in those times we quit too soon. Then, we can live with this nagging sense of "what if?" What if I'd persevered one more year, one more month, one more day?
Knowing when to stop and when to keep on keeping on is a crucial life lesson. One I want to learn well. Often, the more I struggle on my own, the less confident I am with the right next step. It's exhausting!
But the truth is, I don't need to be confused or tired. There is one central place I can go for direction and rest. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus encourages us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."
I used to get so frustrated with this verse because I thought, I don't want rest. I want reassurance! I'm burdened by this decision I have to make. I don't want to mess up by missing a cue from You, God.
But the rest Jesus offers is not a spiritual sleep aid. The Greek word for this kind of rest is anapauo which has as one of its definitions, "of calm and patient expectation."
In other words, Jesus is saying if you come to Me, I will take your exhaustion and uncertainty and turn it into a calm expectation.
But how?
My friend Jennifer Rothschild does this enlightening exercise at some of her conferences. She tells the audience to imagine her writing two different words on a large chalkboard. She then speaks the letters as she draws the first word into the air ... R-E-S-T. She does the same for the second word ... R-E-S-I-S-T. Then she asks what is the difference?
The difference is, of course, "I."
I don't know what to do. I can't figure this out. I'm worn out. I've tried everything I know to do. I've given all I have to give.
I'm familiar with these "I" statements because I've said them myself.
We can only find anapauo rest — fresh hope — as we stop running ragged and simply take on the next assignment Jesus gives.
In verse 29 of Matthew 11, Jesus gives us the assignment: to take on His yoke and learn from Him. Ask Jesus to show you how to rest in Him. It might mean sitting quietly, asking others to join you in prayer or clearing your calendar to read the Word. Once you're still, take the next step. Not ten steps. Not the whole path. Not the Google map with the highlighted route. Just the next step. You'll know it because it'll be in line with God's character and His Word.
Complete that step with excellence and an open, humble heart. Listen and look for all Jesus wants to teach you in this next step.
This is your part of the equation.
But after the assignment comes the reassurance in verse 30, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." We don't have to have all the answers. We just have to stay connected to the One who does. Where our strength ends is the exact point where His will begins.
This is God's part of the equation.
I must do all I can do. Then trust God will do what only He can do.
Should I stay? Should I go? Maybe the better question is, "God, what is the next step I'm to take today? I'm going to do my part. And trust the rest to You."
Dear Lord, I am tired, and I can't figure things out. Please help me see Your part in this equation. Where my strength ends is where Your will begins. Help me, Lord, to look to You for my very next step. I will wait in calm expectation. In Jesus' Name, amen.

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