And now it gets busy... school's starting, fall sports and activities are getting into full swing and professional responsibilities kick up as we re-engage full offices. If we let it, within a few weeks we can feel pretty whiped out. Is this the way life was designed to work? Yes and No is the quick answer. Were we created to work hard, invest in our families and be fruitful in our vocations/professions? Yes. Were we created to be completely whiped out in all aspects of our lives? No.
While our plans tend to be made far in advance, God's grace is a daily renewal. It comes one day at a time. In good times we grow daily and are made strong. As rough patches come (and they will), the daily strength we have built up in our relationship with God is more than able to carry us when we otherwise would have raised our hands up in despair.
The challenge for us is how?
1) Connect daily with God: Spending even 5 minutes with God will change your whole outlook on your day. God's grace is our strength and source. Make this your number one priority. Our Daily Bread is a great free devotional and available on iTunes. " Jesus Calling" is a daily devotional available for a small fee. I guarantee if you have not made God a first priority before, your entire outlook on life will change by starting each day with God first.
2) Remember: God is the author of life, not life stealing. People often say, "God does not give us more than we are able to handle." My reply, "God won't, but the world will try." God is not the grand puppeteer of the universe... not all things that happen do so because "God did it." However, God is MORE than able to redeem and bring good purposes out of the most trivial or traumatic situations. When difficulties arise, ask God for the grace to work in the midst of them, to be a part of the healing and not a part of the problem.
3) Serve someone else: Each day, pick at least one thing to do for someone else. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is vital for your wellbeing. God has made you to be in fruitful relationships with other people, even those who may be hardest to love or unknown to you. My friend, Shelli recently shared the uplifting results of doing just that. She chose to pay for the person's coffee behind her in line at Starbucks recently. She was glowing at the thought of a person having a little taste of grace in their lives... yes, even in line at Starbucks. You see it doesn't have to be a huge thing or the newest 'cool thing to do.' It may be helping a coworker with something you would not otherwise do. Picking up kids for a friend when they have a busy day. The "big things" like mission trips and feeding the hungry are important to do, however the value of daily serving our neighbors can be lost if we just focus our Christian walk there.
I will talk more this Sunday about giving things to God and making daily life reflect God's grace more. This is a good beginning though. Use these three steps and I promise you at the end of each day you may be tired, but you will be filled up not fed up.
In Christ with you,