At 8:00 AM, my mind has already overloaded. Its payday. I have a few things to sort out.
The mortgage payment has to come out of this check; we have two birthday parties to plan for with this pay period; grocery shopping is at hand; I have to respond to two emails on potential writing work; my truck needs an oil change and brake job; where’d I put my special pen; why did my son leave the toothpaste in the shower; how can I stop my kitten from attacking my older cat; Cheerios or Cap N’ Crunch for lunch; should I revamp the resume or sit tight where I am; why’d I buy those shoes; on and on and on; ’round and around the wheel spins. Jimminy Crickets, I’m tired already! My day has barely begun.
As crazy as it may all sound, this is what we have a tendency to do everyday. We take on all of these tasks. It’s really no wonder our lives are in such disarray. I mean with a laundry list of things to accomplish before noon, who’s really got any time to get into God’s word? C’mon now, be honest with yourself. Where does his word rank on your list of things to do today?
I thought so.
The word is the cornerstone; Jesus is the cornerstone; the word is Jesus; Jesus is the word. If you want peace and order to abound in your life, you have to get into Jesus; you gotta get into the word. And through the word, God reveals things. He answers questions you didn’t even know you had. His wisdom opens a whole new way of thinking, through the word. Jesus speaks to you through the word.
Now all of this sounds fantastic and simple, but the reality is that our human nature tends to fight the simplicity of the Bible.
“I don’t have time to read, right now.” He said.
“I’ll read later on tonight.” She said.
“How’s that book gonna pay my electric bill?” He asked.
“How is the Bible going to fix my husband?” She asked.
All valid questions, if you happen to be a logical thinker. But the believer knows very well that God cannot be confined to a box style of thinking. And unfortunately, we believers are the prime suspects of these types of questions. We believe, but we harbor unbelief.
Sometimes it’s hard to focus on God, when the cares of the world are lined up at your front door. But we serve a mighty God and, believe me, he will not be denied. He has a way of taking our hectic lives and flipping them up side down for the sake of his mercy and blessings for us. I’ll give you a hypothetical example.
Mary attends church every Sunday, without fail. She worships to the music, she listens intently to the pastor’s message, she prays for guidance and help at the altar. And then, she leaves the church, still feeling the uphoria of the Lord’s presence.
As soon as she exits the parking lot, her hectic schedule flushes every seed, God just planted, totally from her mind. Her attitude changes almost instantly. She’s flustered, and moody for the remainder of the day as she goes about the business of knocking off every task on her mental list.
But you see, God knows Mary’s heart. He knows that deep down she honestly wants change in her life. She’s simply caught up in the rat race of life. So, God intervenes.
Monday morning, Mary finds out her brand new car won’t start. Not only that, but her oven’s solnoid heating element just burned out, preventing her from cooking brownies for the junior highschool fair. No one is available to cart her around. Her husband’s at work. The kids are in school. Mary is stranded at home with nothing to do and no way to get around.
Her first impulse at all of this misfortune, is to cuss and whine. Next, she throws a pity party, asking God why her, of all people. That’s when it happens. For the first time, Mary actually “hears” God respond. Somewhere deep down in her soul, just behind her stomach, and at the same time, inside her head, between her ears and brain, she hears the unmistakable voice of the Lord.
That’s it. Two little words. But those two little words speak volumes into her heart. Mary looks around the living room, stunned. Just as she’s poised to question the origin of the voice, she hears it again, only louder this time.
Mary sits down on the couch, picks up her Bible, and begins to read. Three months later, Mary continues to read the word. The difference is, she no longer needs God to prod her into reading. Mary makes time everyday to get inside of the Lord’s word. As a result, her life is subtly changing. Mood swings are less frequent, anxiety is almost non-existent, her prayer life has increased, and she hears from God more frequently. This all came about when the Lord forced Mary to be still, for a moment.
It works like that, you know. I really don’t care whether you believe me or not. I’m a living witness to it. God will quite literally shut your world down, to grab your attention, if you truly want to get close to him, but don’t know how to start. Sometimes, he forces us to be still, so that we might focus on him; his word; his instruction.
Dear friend, do you find yourself out of sorts today? Is your reality somehow horribly different from what you’re used to dealing with? Are you (right now) uncomfortable with your life and how things are progressing? Does it all seem bad, instead of all good? Let me give you a small bit of advice. It just might be God trying to grab your attention. He just might be closing all the doors to your life, to lock you into a room with him. The only way out might be his word. God just might be calling you to be still. The first part of Psalm 46:10 (NIV) reads, “Be still, and know that I am God,”.
God may be trying to get your attention, friend.