Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Priorities: Figuring out what's real and worth it

Talked to Jimmy on the phone yesterday about some problems – the normal stuff like not enough money, not enough time, why won’t the kids behave, why so much stuff is falling apart. We wrapped up our conversation with our normal “good-bye” and “love you” but this time I also thought, “I’m so thankful he’s not part of the problems.” He’s what holds me up through the problems as he reminds me of important things like trust and faith. Hopefully I do the same for him when problems are firing at him.

I’ve also been acutely thankful for my girls over the last couple days – not for what they’ve done but because of who they are. They’re my daughters, my family. That’s enough to bind me to them forever.

I think that’s why this post by Glenn Beck on Facebook this morning struck something inside me.

What is real and worth it beside family?

You can see from my opening comments how important family is to me. Yes, it’s real and it’s so worth it but it’s not “the most important project of all.”

Here’s the rest of his list… Work, parenting, shopping, finances, outside activities, church work, spouse, friends, and extended family. And oh yeah, still find time to read Scripture and pray.

There it is – tacked on the end just in case we manage to find time – is the most important of all.

We may lose our job. Tragedy may strike our children, spouse, friends, or extended family; they may be gone in a heartbeat. The money may disappear completely. Outside activities and yes, even church work, can crumble away. Are we ready to say in those moments – when these horrors strike our own existence – that God is in control and that is enough?

Personal loss, natural disaster, economic failure, job markets, housing and community, and relationships will all come…and they will go. God doesn’t do that though.

He doesn’t “change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17 NIV).

He is “the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End” (Revelation 21:6).

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8).

How do I do it?

That’s the next big question, isn’t it? I’m first to admit that sometimes it’s hard.

Those hard times prompt the phone calls to my husband like I talked about at the beginning of this article. Or a friend. But they also prompt me to fall to my knees in prayer. Scripture promises, “Cast your burden on the
Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).

My husband is a great man who can point me to Christ but he can’t solve all my problems. I have some incredibly wonderful friends who have been there for me often over the years. They also can’t sustain me, though. It’s got to be God.

“I called to the
Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice and my cry to Him reached His ears. … He reached down from heaven and took hold of me; He pulled me out of deep waters. … The Lord was my support.” (Psalm 18:6, 16, 18; Hover here to read Psalm 18 to see the power of God’s deliverance when we cry for help.)

We can’t only cry to God when the problems hit, however. We endure the hard times because we walk in relationship with Him all the time. We read His Word… no, we study it. We know it. We allow it to transform us from the mess we used to be into the person He created us to be.

Seven Roles, One Woman talks about this quite a bit from a woman’s perspective. It’s hard to balance being a wife, mom, businesswoman, friend, servant, homemaker, and oh yeah, a child of God. We try to juggle all of them and keep everyone happy. In the end, though, balance starts to come when we realize that being a child of God isn’t an “oh yeah” that we tag on at the end.

It’s the foundation upon which all the others rest…

  • It’s the love needed to be the wife (or husband).
  • It’s the grace mandatory to being a mom (or dad).
  • It’s the wisdom desired to be a business person.
  • It’s the kindness essential to being a friend.
  • It’s the compassion required to be a servant.
  • It’s the sacrifice important to being a homemaker.
Being a child of God is the power to make it happen because “He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

And if Glenn happens to read this - or anyone else trying to figure it out with very real scars in their own life - please know I didn't ignore that part of the original Facebook post. That's some hard stuff as well and maybe something to save for another time.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Yes, YES! Seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt. 6:33). The first and greatest commandment is this: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (Mark 12:30). When we recognize Him as the Ultimate that He truly is, and make it our goal to know Him and love Him more (Jer. 9:23-4), the rest works out. And He promises that it works out for good to those who know Him and are called according to His purpose – he continues to conform us to the image of Jesus (Rom. 8:28-9). It’s not that there are never hard times or even severe trials, but if we build our faith on His foundation, we can weather the storms (Luke 6:47-9).