I’m more than a little high-strung right now.
I don’t know if it’s because I have several stressors in my life, like plates I’m trying to keep up, or if because I’m trying desperately to simplify my life and I’m reminded of how complicated it can be…
Nevertheless, I know that I can retreat into quiet space with my Lord and let Him overwhelm me with peace, if only I will trust Him to do so. <update> I found this while reading “Our Daily Bread” – how wonderful of God to show me this little tidbit!
“All of us know the feeling of being overwhelmed. When the present is daunting and the past is haunting, where can we turn for release? To whom do we go for comfort and peace?
The psalmist wrote: “Deliver me in Your righteousness, and cause me to escape; incline Your ear to me, and save me. Be my strong refuge, to which I may resort continually” (Ps. 71:2-3). God was his hope, his trust, and his hiding place in the storms of life (vv.5-8).
E. May Grimes’ poem captures that biblical theme.
A little sanctuary art Thou to me;
O Jesus Christ, beloved, I live with Thee;
My heart has found its everlasting home,
Its sure abiding place where’er I roam.
Few people can afford a mansion, but everyone who knows the Lord can find refuge and peace in His abiding presence.” </end update>
I’m reminded of the words of John Baillie (a Scottish theologian):
“Almighty God, in this quiet hour I seek communion with thee. From the fret and fever of of the day’s business, from the world’s discordant noises, from the praise and blame of men, from the confused thoughts and vain imaginations of my own heart, I would now turn aside and and seek the quietness of thy presence. All day long have I toiled and striven; but now in the stillness of heart and the clear light of thine eternity, I would ponder the pattern my life is weaving.”
And this paragraph would summarize the constant prayer of my last few months. Clarity. Focus. Boldness. Directive. Leadership.
Today’s sermon at Northside talked about sacrifice and how it is the epitome of love. Love demands that we lay down our lives for one another. It demands that we’re poured out like a drink offering. Sometimes, this isn’t really fun at all. In fact, it can be tiring. But, we also remember that our Lord’s life was spent for us, so that we may be reconciled – worthy – to be in His presence.
I’m paraphrasing a man I respect greatly (Randy Copeland) here in saying – I’m tired of trying to “make things work.” I’m ready to rely on God’s leading and timing to carry me through. I’ve noticed a lot of situations in my life and in others close to me where it seems the all-too-common answer is “try harder.” God’s answer seems to be, “Pray more intensely. Commune with Me, dine at My table, sit down, slow down, enjoy My presence.”
The saints of auld times had it right in saying, “This world is not my home.” I’m all-too-guilty of trying to make it that way.
I pray that experience the reality of being lifted up, that He sustains you when you’re weary, as I know He will me. I’m ready to enjoy a week serving His people in Mexico, learning more about humility as I serve. I’m ready to be hot and sweaty and dirty, but most of all, broken of my insatiable desire for more and better in my schedule, my life. Refocusing my direction (if only turning the wheel a little bit back to the right to steer my life on the narrow) is something really needed right now.
Grace and peace.