September 30, 2010
Stop! Drop! Roll!
Luke 2:52 "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."
Friend to Friend
A friend recently sent me the following message in an email with a subject line that said, "I immediately thought of you when I read this!"
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body. But rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"
As I read the words on the computer screen, I wasn't sure if I had just received a sweet compliment or some badly needed correction - or both. The part about arriving at the grave in a pretty and well preserved body was flattering, but the part about being thoroughly used up and totally worn out - well, not so much. My next thought was, "Boredom is highly underrated!" I suspect that the truth lies somewhere in between, maybe around the area of balance.
Contrary to popular belief and the way that I have lived a great deal of my life, "balance" is not a dirty word. In fact, a balanced life is a powerful life. It must be. I wrote those words in one of my books. I also stated that a busy life is not necessarily a productive life. I think it is time for a refresher course on how to find God's balance in life because being out of balance is not a good thing. When our finances are out of balance, we hear from the bank. When the washer is out of balance, it dances across the floor. When the tires on our car are out of balance, the ride is rough. But when our life is out of balance, disaster is just around the corner.
As I was praying about this devotional, the Father brought to mind my elementary school days when the firemen came to our school to teach us what we should do in case we ever caught on fire. I remember the drill clearly. Stop! Drop! Roll! Let's apply that same drill to the area of balance.
When was the last time you stopped, got off the merry-go-round and out of the fast lane to take a long, hard look at your life? It is so easy to live each day just doing "the next thing" that comes along. The "one size fits all" mentality about life plans is from the pit and smells like smoke, girlfriend. God has a plan for your life that is unique and you are the only person who can be "you." Build on your strengths. Accept your limitations and yield to the seasons of life. Get in the Word and ask God to show you His plan.
Once you discover your life plan, eliminate anything that does not fit that plan. Learn to invest your time instead of just spending it or allowing others to steal it. Choose to budget your time just like you budget your money and learn to say "no" without feeling guilty. We are all responsible for how we spend the time God has given us. Every morning we are credited with 86,400 seconds. No balance is carried into the next day and every night erases what we fail to use.
Roll away the burdens you are carrying and learn the value of resting in God. Every opportunity to worry is also an opportunity to trust Him. I heard a story about a man who had to cross a wide river on the ice. He was afraid it might be too thin, so he began to crawl on his hands and knees in fear, thinking he would fall through the icy surface at any time. Just as he neared the opposite shore, exhausted and weak, another man glided past him sitting on a sled loaded with iron. The promises of God will not break under the weight of any problem or trial you will ever face. Take Him at His Word. Let God be God in your life and trust Him.
When Jesus was twelve years old, He traveled to
Don't miss this important truth. Jesus returned home with His parents and spent the next twenty years growing and maturing. Luke 2:52 tells us that "Jesus grew in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with God and men." Then in Luke 3, we see Jesus as He began His ministry on earth. Don't miss this important truth! Jesus grew mentally and emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially. His life was balanced - before He began His ministry. You may be waiting for your life to just fall into place, hoping that the things you are doing will achieve balance. The opposite is true. A powerful life comes from a balanced life. Now is the time for you to stop … drop … and roll.
Father, I am tired. My life is out of control and I don't know what to do. Please help me examine my priorities by Your standards and expectations and live for Your pleasure and glory. I choose now to trust You, knowing that You are in control whether it looks like it or not. My faith is weak, Lord. Strengthen me to do what You created me to do.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Set aside time to come before God, in total surrender and with a willing heart. Ask Him to show you His plan. Choose to follow that plan now.
Stop: Read and memorize Psalm 139:16. Examine your priorities. Do they line up with God's priorities?
Drop: What activity or time consumer do you need to eliminate from your life? For example, how much time do you spend watching television or online? What would your life look like if you invested that time in studying the Bible, praying or serving God?
Roll: Exodus 31:17 says, "For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed." What does this verse say to you about the importance of rest?
2 Timothy 1:7 says, "God did not give us a spirit that makes us afraid but a spirit of power and love and self-control." What is your greatest fear? Give it to God today and trust Him.
More from the Girlfriends
I know it is hard to find the right balance in life. Only God can make that happen when we make the choice to let Him. Are you ready to make that choice? Know that we are praying for you and asking God to fill your life with peace and joy as you seek Him. We are with you, girlfriend.
Need help? I can't believe I am even writing these words, but the holidays are just around the corner! I can already feel the stress that is just around that same corner. If you want to find God's answer for stress, check out my book, Escaping the Stress Trap, for steps you can take to help you live in peace.
Join women from across the world in Mary's Online Bible Study, Light for the Journey. A new study begins October 4: When an Ordinary Woman Meets an Extraordinary God. When you enroll, you also have access to all of the 2010 studies. Check it out!
Need a friend? Connect with me on Facebook or through email. I love hearing what God is doing in your life! Tell me how praising God has made a difference in your life. Let's talk about it, girlfriend!
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