Today, I’m going to be forward with you. I’m going to jump right into things. This morning, I got pretty fired up about life, but only after being stupid, stressed, and completely discouraged this weekend. Isn’t the Spirit so sweet? I love how relentless He is in His pursuit of us.
Life has been grand lately. By grand, I mean it’s just been really big. High volume. And in every way possible. I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off, and if I’m completely honest with you, I’ve been so non-stop busy that I haven’t had time to spend enough time with Jesus (that’s not a grammatical error. I mean just that. “Haven’t had time for enough time”. I’ll come back to that). Every time I sit down for too long, I fall asleep. Like an old man.
If I get too far into the details, I’m going to lose the focus of the post, but just allow me to paint a little picture for you. I have a lot to get done during the day at my internship. I am fully, 100%, tickled pink to do the work that I have been given. That is not at all an issue. So I get that done during the day, and everything is hunky dory. But then I spend 2 hours in the car alone. And as much as I try to fill that with Jesus, I am not persistent enough in seeking Him during that time. I get stressed, and tired. By the time I get home, I’m too tired to work out, but my mental and physical self cannot NOT work out. Things quickly go south and I can get pretty ugly if I don’t exert my energy constructively. Plus, the endorphins make me feel good. So I have to work out early in the AM. Which leaves me with maybe 2 hours during the day to not be doing something constructive and just rest my mind…. And suddenly I’m a mess.
My schedule and time management is important (see a few posts ago), but that isn’t the issue in this case. I have a lot on my mind these days. I’m trying to do my duties to my best ability all while being a light of love to others and maintaining my sense of joy and peace. I’m not only trying to the task that following Jesus requires me to do, but I’m trying to do it with the heart and soul that He did too. I’m trying to foster goodness, patience, kindness, meekness, humility, and love, but I’m falling short. And I know that it’s because I’m not allowing Jesus the proper time to fill me up, but in today’s day and age how do I do EVERYTHING? Something’s gotta give.
When my stress bubbles over like this, I don’t resort to giving up or getting more competitive. I get homesick. Homesick for heaven, Jesus, and eternity. It took me a while to truly identify, what was happening here, but I start to just wish that Jesus would come back. However, I wish it in a selfish way. I confess to you, that in these times, I tend to lose sight of God’s purpose for my life, because I get tired, and I just want to rush to the end, the “good part”, if you will. I suppose I get so blase’ about my salvation, that I start to push it to the back of my mind and it becomes how Jesus is getting me into heaven, rather than what it’s really about.
Life just becomes hard with that mentality. The sense of defeat is multiplied ten fold, and my exhaustion is exponentially greater. I become shameful because I start to think, “Where is my spirit? What is this? Why am I not meeting my trials with joy? This is chance to be sanctified and bring Him glory!” Thank God for conviction….
….And thank God for friends and the church. Needless to say I was pushed to the point of tears with frustration on Saturday (I actually resembled a tired baby that needs a nap). I probably drove my mother mad with all of my venting. However on Sunday, I had the pleasure of just chatting with the loveliest friend that the Lord has recently brought into my life. In our conversation, I realized, all of this is where it is because I’m not as spiritually fit as I need to be. If I’m going to set my bar higher, then I have got to get more serious about meeting it and setting it higher again. (1. Conviction).
I went to bed last night with so much more determination. I even packed a lunch, set out clothes, and fully prepared myself to work out this morning. I did a spin work out (which I haven’t done one since early January, so it was in a way therapeutic) to some worship music, and was out the door of the rec center by 7:40. (2. Time to make a change).
I shut my door, got out my Cliff bar and banana that I had packed for breakfast, and as soon as I turned on the radio, 93.7 had I guest on that had some powerful words. I have no idea who he was or what the topic was, but immediately, he said “…because here’s the thing, Jesus didn’t die so that you could go to heaven, He died so that you could live with Him daily and bring Heaven (His kingdom) to the earth everyday”. He continued to basically say that, you can’t just wish for heaven everyday, because the Lord has more for us than that every single day. It doesn’t stop at salvation. Every day that we are on earth is another chance to experience Him, and be Him to others, so we should be greeting every morning with enthusiasm, knowing that the victory is His and the ultimate battle is won.
Needless to say, my day so far has been much brighter. And ironically enough that rainy forecast for today is not present, because it is sun shiny outside today.
The truth is this: no matter how busy things get, no matter how “high priority” something is, if He is not at the helm of my day, if I’m not taking time to spend with Him, if He is not what my life revolves around, then I’m not actually being productive at all. The other day, I heard the old story of Mary, the spirit-led woman who sat a Jesus’ feet, while Martha, being task-led, was preparing a meal. Every time I hear it, all I can think of is “gah, I’m so like Mary. I never clean, I just sit and listen to stories. I’m so lazy”. Prime example, of missing the point and letting ADD go on coast for a while. But this time, I tuned back in and realized that the Lord was using His word to say to me, “Chaslee, you’re getting to be too much about your to-do list and not enough about me.”(3. And action).
It will never get any easier. Jesus told us that the road is long a narrow. So that means that I have to be more intentional about pursuing Him. He’s pursuing me, and He’s there, all I have to do is take that step. Funny how Satan tries everything in His power to make it so that, for whatever reason, we don’t make the effort. But we have more than that. We have the promise that through Him, we can do all things. We know that He is with us in every moment, in every task, in every situation, and we only need be still.
I cannot forget or even put on the back burner the purpose of the cross. He died for me so that I may have life, so why am I stressed and tired? His salvation should be my banner in every single day of my life. Even when I am homesick and just longing for the day when I get to be with Him.
With Easter and the remembrance of the resurrection just within the next few days, I’m making it my goal to remember what His sacrifice meant for my life, not just my after life, and to celebrate it everyday. It’s time to bring my A-game. Even as I’m dying eggs and eating Easter candy.
So today, I’m challenging you too. Rest in knowing that He is with you, even as you’re reading this, or your at your desk, or while you’re cooking dinner. Be encouraged and inspired that every day has a purpose. “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it”. He created each day, and He went before you, so if you are alive and have been brought into a situation, then ask Him to fill you up and face it with determination. He died, just so we could have access to Him and just so we could face everyday with Him on our side! And remember, He makes ALL things work together for His good. Nothing that we can do is too big or too small for Him to deal with.
We are going to run this race and we are going to run it well!
If you need a little further encouragement, I LOVE this new song that Hillsong just released. Give it a listen 🙂
Well, I think I’ve gone on enough for today. I truly hope all of you have the most intimate Easter with Jesus, and look out on Friday for a bonus post this week!