In "Other" Words

"One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy."

~ Elisabeth Elliot~

Last night I was amazed when I saw that this was the quote that had been chosen for In "Other" Words today. I had actually started to post some thoughts along these very lines yesterday, about some things God has been reminding me of lately...but I ended up deciding those thoughts would have to wait for today. Obviously God's timing, and a perfect example of the quote itself.

God has been teaching me this principle in so many areas lately...day by day, minute by minute, seeking Him and following His leading, period. He is showing me this in relation to homeschooling, training the children, taking care of our home, spending time with my husband and children, outside activities, and most recently, making a decision that is nagging at me. Due to some health issues, I've found myself having to re-evaluate activities that have always just been *part of the woodwork* for me...singing in choir at church, for instance. Things that I love, that I have always done, about which there has never been a question...that's just what I do. :) And suddenly, I'm having to stop and make a decision about whether I am able to do them anymore, or whether they could put me in a position where I am unable to do other, more necessary things. Here's a paraphrased exerpt from an email I sent to a couple of friends yesterday...

We sang "Grace Alone" yesterday morning, which I love, and which I blogged about the first time we sang it because the words hit me so hard. I think that is why I kept feeling like I had to sing yesterday, even though I had said I wasn't going to...because I needed to focus on those words again. We were singing "Grace alone, which God supplies, strength unknown, He will provide, Christ in us, our cornerstone, we will go forth in grace alone," and I had been standing there thinking, "I am going to have to give up on singing in the musical." And right about that time we hit "strength unknown, He will provide." One of the reasons I hate to quit choir so much...it seems like God teaches me *so* much more through the music when I am singing that when I am just listening. Maybe it's just that multitasking thing...I listen better when I'm singing. :) But it was like I could almost hear Him saying, "If I want you to sing, I can give you the strength to do it...*and* give you the strength to get through the children's musical."

And I all of the sudden realized that is what He is trying to teach me through *all* of this...that I don't need to try to analyze it and figure it out...that rather than worrying about *anything* else...I just need to, as always, *seek Him*. The only thing that matters is for me to determine if God wants me to sing, or not. If He does, then I need to quit worrying about it and trust that He will provide that strength. If not...then I need to quit worrying about how much I want to or how disappointed I'm going to be or what Lyndel is going to say or any of the rest of it... and just rest in the fact that He knows best.

And then I realized...that is nothing new...that is what He has been teaching us through everything that has gone on for the past few years. The other day I was struggling so much with [another issue that has been at the forefront of my mind for a while]. And God reminded me again....as He has shown me throughout this whole thing "All you need is Me. I am Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. I can handle it." Step by step, day by day, leaning on Him for strength and looking to Him for wisdom. You'd think I would have learned that by now. :)

Occasionally I will ask one of my children to do something (perhaps "tell" would be a better word than "ask" :)), and they will say "I can't." They are learning *not* to say that, though, because that is time for a lesson in the fact that "Mommy will never tell you to do something that you *can't* do. If you couldn't do it, I wouldn't ask." I am realizing more and more that God will never ask us to do something that we *can't* do. It may require great discipline on our part. It may involve sacrifice. It may not be easy. But there *will* be time and strength to do it...and there will be *joy* in it...if we are being obedient in every area and following Him in every minute step.

Another aspect of this about which God has been flooding me with lessons is that I need to live in the present. Remembering what God has done for us in the past, and the things He has taught us, is very important. Planning for the future is also important. But if we get too caught up...as I often do...in the past *or* the future, we become unable to do the work God has us here to do *now*. God is reminding me...when I become consumed by guilt over past failures, or when I look back at "the good old days" with too much longing...that I am to forget those things that are behind, and press on toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 3:13-14) He also reminds me...when I begin to worry about the future, and all of the *what ifs* begin swirling around in my mind...that I am not to worry about tomorrow, but instead to seek *Him* first, and He will supply every need. (Mt. 6:33-34)
Thanks to Sarah at To Motherhood and Beyond for hosting In "Other" Words this week and sharing this quote for us to reflect on.


kel said...

Great post, just what I needed to read this morning.

Joyful Days said...

This is something I need to be focusing on right now. I have a lot of questions for "tomorrow" and I'm letting "today" slip away a little to fast. And there are some "yesterday" issues that would be better left there.

Isn't it wonderful how we hear God speak to us as we are training our children.

Always in Him,