Do you ever get in a slump? I know I do and find my mind wandering…trying to figure out why I am discouraged, not motivated and lacking energy. Then I find myself around others who are spiritually on fire and it hits me….”There’s your answer…your spiritual talk is missing.”
As women we tend to circle ourselves with those who think like we do, like what we like and exclude what needs excluding. Unfortunately we can almost have a “social club” mindset which rarely gives us the spiritual nourishment we need. I’ve noticed on Facebook that many women are all about posting the word….”praying”, but when it comes time to use it in front of others or incorporate more of it on a personal level with God…it goes lacking. I don’t know exactly what some of us are afraid of, but prayer should be our number one tool on a daily basis to fight the devil.
For me, I need to surround myself with women who are spiritually on fire for the Lord…and not necessarily each other. I need more talk about about how I can grow as a Christian…where can I find more opportunities and when can I have a Bible study with someone. I can’t remember the last time I had a personal Bible study with a searching soul…you know that kind where you sit at a table and discuss God’s word and apply it? That’s not a good thing. It says I am too comfortable in my “little” world and not going out into the world and sharing the Good News!
So what can I do? First of all…I can stop the “club” mindset and start the “soul-search” mindset. If all my energies go inward in my church family…then how can I ever have the courage and strength to look outside of myself? I can’t because I’m too focused on the comfort of my secure world. Secondly, I can surround myself with those who are spiritually on fire. Now that’s not so easy to find because most women are still focusing inward. I know because I’ve done that. Those women use spiritual talk. They aren’t afraid to pray. They seek out those who are hurting or lost. They have no time for trivial because they lived in the valley and climbed the mountain. They “know” their Redeemer.
Third…and most importantly…I can find the courage to be like HIM and not be afraid to establish right from wrong. I was talking with someone yesterday who acknowledged that we are living in a world where defining lines of truth and error has become taboo. Dare we say or imply that a behavior or attitude is wrong. To do that…your tagged as judgmental. I’ve learned over the years that when someone is quick to tag another as judgmental…it is usually to avoid accountability. Matthew 7:15….”Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.” In other words…be on guard for those who are not teaching as Christ has taught and you will know by their behavior. I John 4:1…”Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The word “test” means to judge. In other words…I must judge in order to decide…based on scripture…as to whether behavior is from God or not. Where we get into scuffles over this can be the attitude with which it is done…whether in love or with words to create hurt and doubt.
Spiritual Talk…it’s what’s good for the soul. It will get you out of a slump and put you back on track for the race….you know the one where sin can easily entangle us. Throw off all the “junk” that keeps you from fixing your eyes on Jesus. And when you do…the joy will come back in your heart and fire will flame your soul!
This morning I was glancing through some Facebook posts. This particular one got my attention. There is a group of women who encourage one another through prayer. While there have been some “requests” that seemed inappropriate…like “pray that my bedbugs will go away” …this one today put perspective in my world.
She writes…” On Wednesday I went in for my 32 weeks check up with my OB and found out our sweet baby girl no longer had a heartbeat. I will be going to the hospital to deliver her today.” My mind was numb. While as a nurse working in Labor and Delivery, I helped to deliver some babies who had died in utero. Words seem useless. Hugs seem useless. In fact the verse that initially comes to mind is “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10).
Things like this that happen in life bring..or should bring…your world into focus as to what really matters in our everyday lives. God matters. Family matters. Doing HIS will matters. In fact it made me reflect again on my purpose here on earth. I’m here. God has blessed me abundantly and what am I doing to share HIS word, bring others to HIM to reveal His glory and wondrous works? I fail so miserably.
One thing I know about this Momma and her precious baby. God will comfort her like no other. This precious soul has been returned to HIM and is forever saved…without a doubt. It would be hard…very hard to grasp the solace of that, but it would be the only way to breathe.
Surround yourself with what matters. It’s not stuff. It’s not fame. It’s not how you look. It’s about being real with your Creator and owning your mission. Get your prayer life going and ask for wisdom, opportunities and a heart for HIM. And while you’re there…mention the hearts of this Mom and Dad who grieve. I’m confident it will help.
How are you doing with your talents? Are you using them or still trying to figure out what they are? (smile). We all have them and God expects us to use them to His glory. But how do we find them, accept them and direct our energies toward them?
When I began nursing school I lacked a lot of confidence about how I would and could be the best nurse. I wanted to be my best, but I tended to be intimidated by those who had much more skill and finesse with their talent. In the healthcare field you can get yelled at a lot either by a patient, doctor, family member or supervisor. I don’t know about you, but I never enjoyed getting chewed out. It would send me on a spiral and I would doubt myself and my abilities to be a nurse. Time in the profession has helped to heal that. You can yell at me all day in that arena and I will take from it what I should and let the rest fly away! I am secure in the talents I have in my profession and have learned that some of that goes with the territory.
But what about our God-given talents as a Christians? Do we tend to hide them for fear of being seen as pretentious? In my opinion one of the most frustrating things I see about women is that we tend to hold back from what we can do…share…become. While it may be easy to “let your hair down” with those closest to you, the tug-of-war comes with asked to get outside our comfort zone.
God never asked us to be comfortable. He has asked us to be workers…servants…cross-bearers and encouragers. Getting down to the nitty-gritty of our true selves will sometimes reveal our “hiding” place. “I will work for you Lord, but please don’t ask me to step out of my hometown.” I will serve you Lord, but only when I have matching plates and a bigger house.” I will bear my cross Lord, but when the “heat” of service becomes too much…please don’t ask me to take another step.” I can encourage Lord…but it’s easier with people I know.” Find yourself in any of those? I know I can.
BE YOUR BEST SELF. That’s the bottom line. Don’t look for excuses because you will always find them. Find the person in your life to help you be your best. Find the person in your life who will take you from where you are to where you can shine as a Christian. Don’t settle for what “feels” comfy and self-satisfying. Look for the better you because when you do…you will find the God-given talents that are waiting for you…and we can’t wait to see them!
According to the calendar, tomorrow is Mother’s Day. I was in the store today and the front aisles were lined with floral bouquets, candy, cupcakes and reminders. Kids were doing what kids do…making those last minute decisions with Dad as to what would be best for Mom.
But not everyone is so excited about tomorrow. You see if you are not a Mom, don’t have a Mom or the relationship with her is scarred in some way…there aren’t any cards or cupcakes that make Mother’s day special. Most of us as little girls played house with baby dolls…dressing them and pretending to be the “mommy.” As we grew up our minds start wondering who will be “Mr. Right” for not only our husband, but also the father of our children…at least that’s how the “story” goes.
I was 37 years old before I had my son. I waited a long time to hear those words…”Mom.” And I will say…that word said by him is very precious to me. However…I remember all those “Mother’s Days” that seemed empty…lonely. And while I would celebrate my Mom for Mother’s Day, I longed for that term of endearment for myself. I know there are readers who know exactly what I am talking about. It is the same kind of feeling you get when Valentine’s Day rolls around and you are single. It’s not so much fun. In fact I vividly remember hating Valentine’s Day while working at the hospital and my colleagues getting flowers while I was just getting the “call light” to the next patient. (smile).
But this is what I’ve come to learn. Each day that you are I are alive and have opportunity to serve our God and bring glory to His name…that’s a Special Day! Yes I know there are no flowers or cards or candy for that…but there is a reward that far outlasts all of those temporary things. And while you may not ever hear the word “Mom” said to you or your Mom is gone out of your life in some way…what you want to hear some day is this…“‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.”
So enjoy tomorrow no matter where you are in life. It’s a good day because you are in it and being a child of the King is the greatest relationship of all.