The Two Most Powerful Words
"And a voice from heaven said, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.'" Matthew 3:17 (NIV)
Not too long ago, I stood at the sink trying to ease the stabbing feeling of stress. I had so much pulling at me.
I found myself rushing my husband in conversation. Rushing my kids out the door. Rushing to the next thing and then the next. Rushing to make dinner and then rushing my people through dinner.
I had set my life to the rhythm of rush.
Exhaustion gnawed deep places in my heart, demanding me to slow down. But how? I've made my decisions and now my decisions have made me. Me — this shell of a woman caught in the rush of endless demands.
Have you ever felt this same way? I suspect most of us have.
I'm starting to realize the two most powerful words are yes and no. How I use them determines how I set my schedule.
How I set my schedule determines how I live my life.
How I live my life determines how I spend my soul.
When I think about my decisions in light of spending my soul, it gives gravity to choosing more wisely. Each and every thing I say yes to sets the pace of my life.
After all, when a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she'll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul. An overwhelmed schedule leads to an underwhelmed soul — a soul with a full calendar but no time to really engage in life.
If you've found yourself caught in a stressful pace recently, I understand. I think so much of why my schedule gets overloaded is because I'm afraid of missing out or not measuring up.
One quick look at social media, and it feels like everyone else is able to live at a breakneck pace with a smile. Their kids are accomplishing more than my kids. Their business pursuits seem more important than mine do. Their marriage seems more romantic. Their home is cleaner. And they even have time to invite dinner guests over to eat food from their garden. Huh?
It's interesting to me the timing of God's words to Jesus in Matthew 3:17: "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."
At that point, Jesus hadn't yet performed miracles, led the masses or gone to the cross. Yet, God was pleased with Jesus before all of those accomplishments.
His Father was establishing Jesus' identity before He started His activities. Jesus heard God, believed God and remained unrushed. In Christ, God has given us a new identity (Romans 6:4). But, unlike Christ, we forget.
We fill our days and our lives with so much activity that the only way to keep up with it all is to rush. And I'm discovering that the source of much of the stress in my life is this constant need to keep up. But what if I'm chasing the wrong desire?
Do I really want my life to look more like others? Or to look more like God's best for me?
God's best for me means engaging with life and the people in it. God's best for me means noticing divine invitations and feeling the freedom to say yes — a Best Yes to the Lord's assignments.
If I really want an unrushed life, I must underwhelm my schedule so God has room to overwhelm my soul.
Today, we must stand moment-by-moment in the reality of our identity before we resume our activity. Grasp this truth and rub it in deep: "You are my daughter, whom I love; with whom I am well pleased."
Well pleased because of who you are, not because of what you do. Well pleased because of an unfathomable, unconditional love that's not earned, but simply given.
Dear Lord, unrush me as I set my schedule today. I want to step out of the rush so I can embrace Your best for me. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Romans 6:4, "We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Ask yourself these questions: Do I really want my life to look more like other people's? Or to look more like God's best for me?
Honestly assess your answer and pray that the Lord would show you how to pursue His plan.