The Study With Friends community includes a team of bloggers who bless us with authentic and honest musings about how their faith informs their life, and how life informs their faith. These blogs offer insights and advice from the heart. They are experiential. For instructional insights, visit our bible study page.
Today has been one of those days from the start. After a couple of snoozes on my bedside alarm clock, I got up to turn off my phone alarm over on the dresser (does anyone else have to put their alarm across the room?). Standing at the foot of the bed, I considered my options. My hair was too dirty to go one more day without washing; that would have been another 30 minutes of sleep. I could skip my morning workout, but I had skipped yesterday. I literally prayed for God to help me just stay out of bed. And so it went…
Unfortunately, while I was busy being blown away from the excitement and opportunities available to my son, he was busy being overwhelmed at the thought of having to decide his “career path” at the age of 14. I was just so excited for him, as was my husband, that we assumed he was as fired up as we were. We realized quickly that he was starting to internally freak out because, at the ripe old age of 14, he didn’t know what he wanted to be when he grew up! Thankfully, he is blessed with a mother who also doesn’t know what she wants to be when she grows up either.
I took it very personally. I began to argue with her and engage in conduct unbecoming a Christian. She finally left, and I went on venting to those around me. A little while later I was talking to someone about having to miss church the next day and he joked that I was a bad Christian. I defended myself by saying, “But I love Jesus.” Even as I said those words I remembered that difficult customer. How could I say I loved Jesus if I wasn’t following His command to love one another?
Having completed the medication prescribed on an earlier doctor’s visit, and feeling very little relief, I called his office and was told they would “work me in” that afternoon. Wisely, I took along a book: Liz Cutis Higgs’ 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path. The focus of the chapter was Proverbs 17:22, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” While reading Liz’s comments on this verse, I had to confess that my heart was anything but cheerful. Twenty-one days of illness had worn down my body as well as my spirit.
I was diagnosed with MS about 14 years ago. The good news, that I found out immediately, is that there is medicine that can help me cope with all of the symptoms and maybe even help stay in remission. This wasn’t always the case! The bad news is that all of the medical treatment options were needles– injections. I don’t like needles, like a lot of people. In fact, I’ve passed out at just the sight of a needle before. I thought this was a cruel joke! I did it every day, took that shot, that needle, which was going to keep me in remission. It never did, but I kept trying different medication options. Always needles.
Just for a moment, think what it would be like if one day you chanced upon a person who was trying to figure out what are the most important things to know in life. You would be given the task of helping that person decipher this. What would you say?
When it comes to daily time in the Word and prayer, we have a lot of reasons why it might not happen. “I know I should read my Bible every day, but I get distracted and forget.” “I meant to spend time in prayer but the kids just never give me a minute.” “I’m too busy.” We may not say these things out loud, but either we think them or we unconsciously believe them. What comes next in this cycle? Guilt, regret, lament. We are pitiful creatures that way.
If you know me socially or personally, a fair depiction of me is that I am an extrovert—gregarious and sociable. However, I am not that entirely. My oomph comes from being by myself, in the Word and with Jesus. My heart delights in this time. Unfortunately, I fall short, bigtime, when it comes to making and/or taking time to just be me, in the quiet, with Him.
Age is a funny thing. It has the power to make us feel powerful and important, or weak and incapable. Feeling “old” or “young” can have remarkable consequences for how we treat ourselves and others. Whether it’s the naivete of a teenager, the wisdom (or stodginess) of the retired, or the whirl-wind that is the “prime of life,” the world judges us by the number of years we’ve been alive.
But it’s just a number, right?
Well, I just turned 30. Honestly, I feel just how I thought I would feel.
And nothing like I thought I would feel.
The boat would turn onto the new tack, or course, as the passenger ducked under the boom that was swinging to the other side of the boat. The passenger would find a perch on the opposite side of the boat from the billowing sail and lean back to balance the boat. The sail would fill up with the wind and off we would go in the new direction. It was magical, like a dance on the water.