Monday, 16 March 2015

Taking time to see God's Greatness {stepping out of the boat}

This morning, something amazing happened.

I woke up EARLIER than the alarm, and I didn't feel tired!

Yes. You read correctly.

I am equally bowled over.  Maybe it's not a "thing" for you, and you regularly waken early, refreshed and full of vim and vigour.

How nice for you.

For me, it was incredible, and a perfect start to my "working" week.  I was able to get up, and spend loads of lovely time with just me, a large mug of coffee, and God - soaking up His Word, and learning precious truths.

On top of that, I even had time to read some more of Sally Clarkson's new book - Own Your Life.  I must admit, I had been struggling to find time for reading in peace and quiet.  Umpteen Sunday afternoons, I had attempted to read, only to have invading marauders. Yes, I have hit the stage of being unable to read fully without peace and quiet.  *groans inwardly at galloping aging process*
This morning, I had peace.  I had previously been reading it on my Kindle app, on the iPad, but I now have a "hard" copy, and hightlighter in hand, I got back to reading.

I have reached Chapter 6 - Resting in the Transcendence of God - Owning the Mystery of His Supremacy.

Oh, how this comes at the perfect time for me.

It's all about stepping away from the hectic madness of life, and seeing the wonder of who God is, as a little child.

My life has been super busy.  Crazy busy.  I had recently become overwhelmed with so many things I had to do.  Choices to make.  Direction to give.  Planning to do.  Schooling to oversee. Housework to fit in.  Discipline to administer.

I was tired.  I was worn down.

I hit a wall, and had to just step away from things, to get my head in the right place.  I am so thankful that I was able to come to my husband, pour out my heart (which had been burying things, thinking it would all just resolve by prayer alone.... alas, faith without works is dead! Action is always required!), and have him help me to find direction.

One of the biggest helps he was to me, was to see that I needed to slow down and remove a lot of unnecessary pressure from myself.  To take my eyes off perceived expectations from others (including what I THOUGHT was what HE wanted, which I was SO wrong about!), and to just focus on what was right for our family.

I cannot express to you, in words, how much of a load has been lifted from me since then.

I had more to learn, though.

As I mentioned, at the end of last week, I also realised that my focus was on doing, instead of BEING.  Being with my family, fully engaged.  Not rushing about from one job to the next.  Not focussed on academics and neglecting their tender hearts and personalities.  I needed to stop, take stock, and readjust my goals and priorities.

Imagine then, how perfect it was, to then read what I did this morning.  Sally giving wise counsel to my soul, about stopping and seeing how great God is.

She told the story of a night when she had opportunity to view the night sky through a telescope. Her daughter was enthralled, as they gazed at the sky was filled with incredible, twinkling stars.  A breath-taking sight.  Her mind was drawn to Job, and God's question to him.

"Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding....When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?"
Job 38: 4, 7

We are so small.  God is so great.

We need to become like a little child, awed by the things we so easily miss, because we are simply too busy DOING.  I have been rush, rush, rushing through life, trying to cram so much in, all the while missing so much.  I am realising, all the more, that time is precious, and every little moment I can spend with my family, when they need me, is so important.  Every moment I can spend soaking up God, and His Word, is crucial to my growth and peace.  Taking a break from busyness, and just enjoying life, is something I need to MAKE time for.

Sally also relates how she spoke, in a blog post, about taking time with her daughter, amidst the busyness of one day, to have afternoon tea. Tea, scones and candles.  Celebrating life in the busyness of deadlines.  One commenter on the blog chastised her for not understanding the busyness in the life of Mums. This poor, harassed woman suggested Sally was setting unrealistic goals for women who are pushed for time, as it is.

Poor Sally!  Poor LADY!

I can understand the lady's life - whiny children, time your enemy as you battle to get things done.

TOTALLY.  I get it.

What I was reminded of this morning, is the very thing that I so often forget.

It's up to us to FORGE that time out of our day.  To take a step back, and think about what REALLY matters, eternally speaking.  All of the pressures and duties will still be there, after taking time out for a breather. Without a doubt.  But the refreshment your soul receives, from stopping, and resting, and being with JESUS, will be a boost to your day.

No living thing can operate without fuel.  We take time to stop and have nourishment for our bodies.  Stopping, and having a break from the duties of life, is refreshment to our MIND and our SOUL.  They equally need nourishment, and I shouldn't feel guilty for seeing to those needs, too.  That's where I have been going so wrong! We have a responsibility to care for not just our bodies, but our mind and our soul, to God's glory.

If I am having a crazy, stress-filled day, I just need to stop, and soak up God's greatness and glory. To become like a little child, and dwell upon the big things of God, instead of the fleeting, burden filled things of life. Take the time to get my perspective upon heavenly things, and not earthly.

Sally wrote of the disciple, Peter, and how he walked on the water.  How easily, in life, we try to row our way, in our own strength, through trials.  We won't get anywhere in a hurry, if we are going in our own strength.  Peter had to get out of the  boat, take a step of faith, and then keep His eyes on Jesus.  The moment he looked around at the waves, he sank.

That's me.  Rowing, as hard as I can, in the direction I THINK I should be going.  Busy, busy, trying my best to keep afloat.  All I need to do is stop, and get out of the boat.  Step away from the "boat" of life, that's being tossed around by the winds of  circumstances, and step towards the Saviour.  We are able to do great things, if we step out in faith, and keeps our eyes upon God.  I need to "think big", and realise that God is able to do great things in my life, if I just trust Him.  Step away from the storm, and towards the one who CONTROLS the storm.

Humility - bowing our lives before God - was the other area that challenged me today, from my reading in the book.

As mothers, I think there's an incredible pressure placed upon us to "get it all done".  We end up steaming on in our own strength, and forget that our strength is nothing.  We are like tiny specks, next to the greatness of God.  I need to come, with  heart bowed in humility, and see God in His greatness and His control over my life.  I need to remove my focus from the details of life, and remember that *I* am not in control - God is.  He knows the way that I take - He planned it. He, in His greatness and goodness, has planned that my life should be EXACTLY the way it is - it's my cup.

I am nothing, and He has it all in His great plan.

We are having a "week off school".  What a perfect way to launch into it.  Remembering God is great.  Remembering I am nothing.  Focussing on my mighty, awesome God.  Enjoying the moments, instead of being on the go, ALL the time.

Are you living a busy life, and forgetting to stop and enjoy the moment?  Like me, are you so busy doing, that you are not being? Not treasuring the detail that God has blessed us with in life, or the lives that God has surrounded us with?

I trust you will seek to see our great God, as I am, and take time to enjoy the moments we can plan into our busy lives, to enjoy God and His goodness.

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