June 15, 2007

A Watermelon, a Coop full of Chickens, and a Billy Goat

Marlo Francis

 

I hope you are enjoying the Girlfriends in God daily devotions.  We (Mary, Sharon, and Gwen) would like to introduce you to some of our special friends.  From time-to-time, the Friday devotions will be written by one of our friends in ministry.  We call them our "Friday Friends."  So grab your Bible and a fresh cup of coffee and drink in the words from our "Friday Friend", Marlo Francis.

 

 

 

 

Today’s Truth

Matthew 11: 28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for you souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (NIV)

 

 

Friend to Friend

When I was young, I loved visiting my paternal grandparents. Granddaddy was always a curiosity with his tobacco-stained lips, distinctive accent, and quirky sayings. I loved to just sit and watch him. A giggle was never far from the surface if he was nearby. Granddaddy never strayed far from the old home, bar the occasional trip to the store for more Red Man or a bag of Brach’s crème drops. He was also sure to be in the choir loft each Sunday ~ his bullish bass voice drowning out the whole ensemble. We always left their house laden down with goodies from Granny’s pantry and yummy prizes from Granddaddy’s smokehouse. More often than not, our car would be busting at the seams as my dad strategically worked to fit it all in amongst our luggage and toys. Like clockwork, Granddaddy would emerge from his workshop for a hug, and upon spying our bulging burdens of generosity, he would exclaim, “Great land ‘a livin’ … if you had a watermelon, a coop full of chickens, and a Billy goat, you’d have a load!” I just loved that saying, and would have been sorely disappointed had he ever missed his cue to state the obvious with that predictable cliché.

 

Granddaddy went home to Christ when I was eleven, but his quirky sayings will never die. As an adult, I have found that his humorous adages have many applications, and this particular one so often describes the way in which many of us overload our lives, and bust our routines at the seams. We strategically labor day after day to “fit it all in” amongst our priorities and schedules. In my own life, so many times I struggle to maintain that perfect balance between having commitments and being committed ~ (Voluntarily or involuntarily, take your pick. I’ve heard that the men in the little white coats are really quite nice, and the padded rooms are rather comfortable.). Diaper changes, family meals, housework, carpools, sports, church duties, civic duties, writing, speaking, singing … all these wonderful aspects of life swirl around me, vying for first place. On those occasions when I think I’m gonna blow, it’s as if I can hear Granddaddy, shaking his little balding head at me saying, “Great land ‘a livin’ girl; if you had a watermelon, a coop full of chickens, and a Billy goat, you’d have a load!” It is then that I also hear my Heavenly Father say, “Marlo, where am I in all of this? In trying to fit it all in you’ve pushed out the most important part. You are forgetting that My yoke is easy … that My burden is light. Do not confuse the urgent for the important. Rest in Me … take time for Me … and all will be at peace.”

The truth is we all have many wonderful commitments and responsibilities. However, when they crowd our lives so much that we place our personal time with God on the backburner, then we need to stop and readjust. I can remember that many times after leaving my grandparents we’d need to stop the car so Daddy could get out and reshuffle all our goodies to ensure that we got home safely. Sometimes in life, we must do the same thing. Scripture tells us in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV) Humbly I must admit that on those days that I want to pull my hair out, I have usually neglected my quiet time, and I must stop and put God back at the top of my priority list. Periodically, we all need to stop and reshuffle the goodies in our lives to ensure that we all get Home safely ~ He promises that if we will seek Him first, He will help us make sense of our busy lives and He will ensure that the life we do live is nothing short of abundant.

 

Malachi 3:10b, “ ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘And see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’” (NIV) As we travel the journey of life, may we invite Christ’s presence into each and every day ~ may we rest in the shadow of His wings, not confusing the urgent for the important ~ and may we be bust at the seams, overflowing with the abundance of His Heavenly storehouses. Even Granddaddy would be proud of that load.

 

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father ~I want to stop right now and invite You into my day. Please forgive me for the times my busyness crowds You into last place. Nothing is right in my life when that is the case. Remind me daily, to rest in Your shadow and to drink of Your living water. I am lost without You. Thank You for all the blessings in my life, and may I use each gift You’ve entrusted to me for Your glory. I love you. In Jesus’ Name ~ Amen

 

 

Now it’s Your Turn

  • I don’t even have to ask you if you are one of those women who are three items short of a load. I can assume that if you are female and live in the 21st century, your top wish is that every day had 28 hours in it. The truth is - we are all very busy. Stop and reflect on the last seven days. How much of that time have you spent alone with the Lord?

 

  • If you find your time with God has been hit and miss confess that to Him and pray that He will bring your quiet time to mind throughout the day. Ask Him to set your spiritual alarm clock in a way that helps you seek to make spending time with the Father a routine part of each day.

 

  • God understands all the things that keep us busy but He loves us to be productive children. Don’t fall into the pattern of placing the urgent above the important. Whatever your daily schedule may be, I can guarantee you it will go much more smoothly if you have given your day to the One who created it. Spending intimate time with God on a regular basis will iron out most of the wrinkles we accumulate in the fabric of life. God wants to be our daily wrinkle releaser!

 

 

More from the girls

Oh, boy! We can all relate to Marlo’s words! I’m sure each one of you has a lot of experience with the juggling act we call life. And they are all good things! Right? Just be careful that you don’t spend your life doing the good things and miss the highest things God has for you. Let’s pray for each other and hold each other accountable for the way we invest our time and energy. Blessings!

 

 

 

This devotion is the sole property of Dreamed for Me Ministries, 2006

www.dreamedforme.com

 

 

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