As I sit down to write this morning I am exercising a new discipline. Discipline simply means training, and I love how God uses our everyday situations and circumstances as opportunities to train us in His ways of handling the more important things.
I really like a clean house. (Remember…I view Mr Clean with super hero status.) An ideal morning for me is enjoying my coffee and stillness with God in the middle of a neat and tidy space. Composing my thoughts seems to be easier if everything is in its place. Dirty dishes, discarded clothing, and fast food meal wrappers on the table can be great distractions for me and have often taken my first attention before I would get to God.
If everyone else would simply cooperate, my plan would flow perfectly, providing me the atmosphere of peace that I desire. Yet somehow they appear completely unaware of the fact that I need their assistance in order to enjoy this very necessary rest. They’ve all dispersed to their respective work and schools, leaving a wake of evidence they have occupied this space.
I don’t think He cares that there is much to be done while I sit at His feet to listen. This is the discipline of a Martha learning how to be more like Mary.
Life can be pretty messy.
There is much to be done, decisions to be made…the clock is ticking.
People are not cooperating, and the pressure is on.
Jesus says rest.
This does not come naturally. In order for me to know what needs to be done today and what can wait, I must rest. To have wisdom for the decisions that are pressing to be made, I must be still enough to hear what He says. When I need the cooperation of others to move forward with the direction He has planted in my heart, I must trust Him with them. To be exactly where He wants me doing exactly what He has for me to do, I must learn to rest in Him.
We often read Philippians 4:19 only in terms of physical provision such as money, food, etc. But I believe He really meant every need:
“And my God will liberally supply your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”
If I need your help to do what He has called me to do, then I must trust Him to lead you also. I have to lay down my impatience and my time-table and rest in the waiting. Even if things are a mess. To those of us who are “worker bees” and thrive on getting things done, this feels irresponsible. I must trust Him that He is never late. He is always on time. If I confess my trust in Him and His leading in my life, then I must also believe that He will keep me on schedule. I will not be late doing what He has called me to do.
One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to keep us in unrest, to continually stir up our souls – our minds, wills, and emotions – so that we aren’t living in and enjoying the peace Jesus has given. This doesn’t mean we live oblivious of responsibilities that must be fulfilled. It does, however, mean that if I am living without His peace in every moment of every day, I am missing something He has for me. I must fight to stay in peace. Not just the evidence of it in relationships with others, but deep peace of soul. Peace that refuses to be shaken. Peace that God is doing something in the middle of the mess.
“Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other.” Psalm 85:10