Wednesday, April 24

Finding God in the Middle of Your Week

When your find yourself covered up by deadlines, baseball and dance practice, a to do list that won't quit, dishes that keep piling up like a stack of red solo cups and various fast food wrappings that begin to overtake the lining of the floor mat  in your vehicle, you my sister need to find God in the middle of your week. These are simple signs that life is running you and you aren't running life. It's a sign that you need to slow down for a minute and be still. So how does a woman find herself on this fast and furious racetrack only a few days after she was at church singing, "How Great Thou Art" in the sanctuary? 

She has said "Yes" to too many things and said "No" to God.
The answer to finding God in the middle of the week is learning to say "Yes" and "No" to the right things.

Sounds bizarre to say both of these words doesn't it! But saying "yes" to God and saying "no" to more activities, restoration can be found in the middle of a busy week. The word "no" sounds so harsh for some of us. For me, it is the toughest word for my mouth to say because I love to say "yes" to almost everything. I don't want to miss something. I don't want to miss an opportunity for ministry or fellowship. But as I grow in maturity in Christ, I am finding that saying the word "no" is the only word that gives me back freedom in my life for the most important thing which is time with my LORD. Saying "no" is not saying, " I don't care" or "I 'm not interested." It's saying, "I have priorities and a plan for my week" and this doesn't fit into my plan at this time. Saying "Yes" to make time for God is a discipline that will not take away time from your week, but give you the necessary energy and restoration that your heart is longing for. 

Take notice of these familiar verses in the bible that speak about the importance of stillness:

"He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters." Psalm 23:2

"Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;.." Psalm 37:7a

"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

There is nothing in the Bible that instructs us to "do more" to find God in our day. It's actually the opposite. To be still. To be patient. I am so fascinated by that simple fact because it's the exact opposite of what the world tells us to do. 

No other illustration in the Bible paints a better picture of believers than sheep. In fact, did you know sheep are creatures that have a hard time lying down? In W. Phillip Keller's book, A Shepherd Looks At Psalm 23 he cites four reasons why it is not an easy task for sheep to lie down. He says they must be free from four things:

"free from all fear, free from friction with others of their kind, free from pests so they can relax and they must be free from hunger." The only person who can give this sheep this kind of relief is the shepherd. He is the only one who can provide for the sheep all it needs to be still and lie down" (page 33). 

No wonder sheep have a hard time lying down!!! Sounds like us doesn't it!!! But notice the only one who can provide for the sheep the needed rest is the shepherd. He is the only one who can free us from our fears, provide direction on the friction we have with another person, can give us the food to satisfy our hunger, and give direction to our busy schedule that steals time away from him.

I wonder what fear dear sister, you are harboring in your heart that is keeping you from stopping to take a moment with your shepherd? I wonder what friction with someone you work with or a family member is draining all the life out of you this day? I wonder what little tasks that keep piling up on you this week is stealing time away from your shepherd? I wonder what hunger in your heart is keeping you so restless that you keep going until you are almost exhausted. Give them all to the Shepherd. 

Say "Yes" to the Shepherd and say "No" to the things that continue to steal time away from the LORD. Make a better plan to get the things that need to be done, done. Make time in your schedule to stop and be still and spend more time with the Shepherd. And the next time your week begins to show  signs of the fast and furious racetrack, remember to not do more, but be still more. And you will find God in the middle of your week. I promise!!!

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