Ornament of Grace

Ornament of Grace
June 9, 2018

“I Will Help Thee”

Do you know how it is to wake up in the morning and feel like the day is already over, because it is packed so full, that you hardly have time to think? In anticipating a busy week ahead, have you ever felt as if you were about to slide into a seat on a gigantic roller coaster ride, and once it started, there would be no stopping until you came to a screeching halt, exhausted and weary, at the end of the track?

Have you ever felt like you were so task-oriented, that to stop and do something relaxing or “just for fun,” somehow seemed too hard – almost as if it were just another job, demanding to be done? (Now, if you cannot identify with this problem, you should definitely count your blessings!)

At some point in our lives, I am sure that all of us have found ourselves in these kinds of situations. Life can be so hectic. It can seem like there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. If you are like me, you have probably struggled with keeping a proper and spiritual balance in the midst of busy, demanding and often-stressful life situations!
How does the Lord want us to handle the burdens, trials, or stresses of our lives? This is a question I have asked myself many times. While I am certainly no expert on the subject, the Lord has shown me some things that might be a help to you, as well.

First of all, I think it is of utmost importance to constantly examine our priorities. How very easy it is, to get them out of order! We need to be sure that whatever we’re occupied with, is really what the Lord wants us to be doing! Often perfectionistic, task-oriented people can live as if everything is a priority! Some people demand too little of themselves, while others tend to expect more in some areas than even the Lord does! I find great comfort in Psalm 103:14, which says, “He knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” When I start to feel overwhelmed, what a blessing it is, to remind myself that the Lord will not give me more than I can handle! What He really wants is for me to rely on Him for strength, and just learn to take one day at a time! When I get ahead of Him, all I can see are the problems. I forget that He has the solutions to those problems already worked out!

What should be our #1 priority? Deuteronomy 10:12 has the answer: “…What doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul…?”
Keeping the right balance in our lives, is to have the Lord in first place.

Have you ever noticed how much better your day goes when you start it off with time alone with Him? Just like me, I’m sure you’ve had the devil whisper in your ear, “You don’t have time for devotions this morning. You just have too much to do!”

I have found that the Lord can do more with my day, when I start it off right, by giving Him the “firstfruits,” than if I skip devotions, and then try to do everything in my own strength.

In my years as a pastor’s wife, I have noticed something about women who live their lives, constantly depressed or stressed out, or those who go around with a critical spirit and a “chip” on their shoulder, constantly nit-picking and fault-finding. These ladies are not joyful or thankful, and they are typically the same women who do not have a consistent daily walk with the Lord! Let’s face the facts: regular exposure to the supernatural is bound to stabilize my fleshly tendencies!

At this point, let me say a word to you “sleep-deprived” mothers of tiny babies, or you frazzled mothers of noisy, rambunctious toddlers who never stop talking and who, you are convinced, have been vaccinated with a phonograph needle!! Believe me, after having had four children, I know how hard it is sometimes, to find time alone, much less quiet time! (How well I remember the days of “hiding out” behind a locked bathroom door for a grand total of three glorious, uninterrupted minutes!) More than you may realize, you mothers need the stabilizing effect of God’s Word upon your life every day. Be determined. Don’t give up trying to fit it in. Get up earlier. Stay up later. Use the baby’s nap time to read your Bible, if you have to. I admit to a habit that has served me well over the years. I’m speaking of posting pertinent Bible verses (on 3×5 notecards- my “promise cards”) in places around the house. On mirrors, window sills, and anywhere I can see them and pause for a few minutes to reflect and meditate throughout my day. I never underestimate the power of a serious focus on ONE verse, and even one word that God has used to cut to the depth of my needy heart! Doing this helps to keep me on the right track! I encourage you to do whatever you have to do, to maintain that “perfect peace,” which God promises to us when we are determined to keep our minds “stayed on Thee,” as Proverbs 26:3 states.

While we are on the subject of priorities, let me remind you that priorities go hand-in-hand with responsibilities. If the Lord has entrusted you with the responsibility of being a wife and mother, this must also be your priority. These days we have so many more distractions, all kinds of “voices” around us, vying for our attention! Be determined to weed out the media, Facebook, movies, and other “focus sapping,” yea, even ungodly influences! (One of the most foolish choices is having a TV on throughout your day “just for noise or company!” Please be smarter, wiser and more spiritual than that, dear ladies!)

May we learn to be faithful in our God-given roles, and carefully examine even good things before so casually adding them to our lives! We each have certain responsibilities that only we can do. Be wise in discerning exactly what these things are!

Carefully guard your heart against discontentment and an unthankful spirit.  What may be God’s will for one person is not necessarily God’s Will for another. Remember your Father knows all your needs and has promised to supply them…in His Way and in His time!

Discontentment can cause us to become judgmental or begrudging toward others , and bitter toward God. Be encouraged. The God Who cares enough to number the hairs on your head also knows what you’re going through, and He already has a plan in place to meet your need!
One of my very favorite things to do, is to begin my day with an invigorating and, depending on the weather, sometimes brisk walk. I have found that this practice produces healthful, stress-relieving and energy-boosting results for me. Besides the physical benefits I enjoy from taking walks, I have gained many spiritual benefits as well. While I walk along, I like to talk to the Lord and meditate on a verse or a thought that He has brought to my attention during my devotions.

On one recent summer morning, after lacing up my tennis shoes and tying my hair back, I picked up my small hand-weights and headed out the door. With my faithful dog-friend, Lollipop, by my side, I started down the driveway.

It was a beautiful morning! The sun hadn’t been up long. The air was still cool and fresh, and a soft breeze was blowing. The closer I got to the trees, the more my ears tuned in to the sounds of birds chirping and singing all around me. Somehow it seemed as if the whole world was full of their melodies and song! At the end of our long driveway, I made a left-hand turn. At that moment, I began alternately walking and jogging down the country road that runs in front of our property.

With God’s creation all around me, the quietness and solitude of the moment were interrupted only by the crunch of gravel under my feet. As my senses continued “drinking in” the early morning beauty, my mind began to wander. It was actually many years ago that I wrote these words, but they are just as true and applicable today! “‘Life has been so hectic and, well…stressful lately,’ I thought to myself. ‘When it seems like I have about all I can handle, something else comes along to add to the burden. Just keeping up with the routine can be hard at times.’

It was with those discouraged feelings that I began praying, ‘Lord, I need you. You know all I have to do. You know my weaknesses and frailties. Lord, please help me. Give me your strength.’

Very soon, I began to feel the comforting presence of the Lord come over me. It was as if He was just waiting to hear my prayer! As I looked up into the wide, blue sky all around me, my heart was encouraged. I thrilled, just to think that the same great and powerful God Who created the glorious beauty my eyes beheld, could actually care about me!”

I recall now, that at that moment, it seemed as if my Heavenly Father was taking me by the hand, ready to lead me through what I imagined to be the difficult circumstances, the challenges, which seemed very much like a maze, but which I called “my life.” All the while, I felt as though He was whispering in my ear, a verse, one of His priceless promises I had read earlier that morning: Isaiah 41:13: “I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I WILL HELP THEE.”