Wednesday, October 24, 2012

All who are thirsty, all who are weak

It has been far too long since I last wrote a substantial post.  I've been busy.

That's actually a colossal understatement.  I've been swamped.

...and it hasn't been good for me.

I'll be the first to admit that I tend to go a little stir-crazy when I have too much free-time; when I've got too much time on my hands, I tend to fall into old patterns of laziness or procrastination.  Yet, the place I'm at right now is not all that productive, either.  Right now, I'm spread so completely thin that I am every bit as slow in finishing what I need to finish as if I had put things off.

Actually, what scares me more than the lack of productivity is the lack of time to rest and grow in the LORD.  I have not had a true Sabbath in nearly two months.  I've had SUNDAYS, yes, but those are partly dedicated to prep and grading, as well as the myriad new responsibilities I've gotten involved in at church.  Necessary, but not restful in the least.

I hadn't even realized the spiritual dry spell I'd been going through until my brother asked me a while back if I was taking any time just to meditate on the Word and to pray.

I replied that, well, I do devotions, but as I tend to do them last thing before bed, I speed through them so I can just go to sleep.

Truth is, I've not taken time out for the relationship that I profess to be the most important one in my life... and the impact of this has been terrifying.  I consider myself a fairly hopeful person, but I don't know that I've ever felt quite so hopeless as I have over the past few weeks.

I've had times of heavy work and stress before, but in the past I'd always carved out enough time for prayer and for nurturing my relationship with God that those stresses had stayed more or less in perspective.  Without God, stress is terrifying.  Without God, stress seems unbeatable; insurmountable.  Without God, accomplishing the tasks I need to accomplish lacks victory; instead it just feels like a quick breath before the next wave hits.

I've been approaching my stress all wrong.  I need to start by being still and trusting; laying my cares and my burdens at His feet and then simply listening.  That requires time... and time requires letting go of things that I think are necessary.  Here's the fact: if it's not God, it's not necessary, no matter how pressing it may seem.

My goal as this month ends, and a new month begins is to set aside time... to not merely make devotions an item on a checklist to be finished as quickly as possible.  Growing a relationship requires time; time to speak and time to listen.

I suspect this will not be natural or easy for me, given where I'm at right now... but it is vital, and it will be my victory over the stress, exhaustion and feeling of profound weariness and weakness that I've been fighting through recently.

Please join me in praying for a renewal in my heart and soul, whatever it takes.

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