This week’s focus in the What Happens When Women Say Yes to God online Bible study has been “Stick with it!” How timely! In the midst of so many distractions, it can be hard to stick with our decisions to listen to and obey God’s voice.
Let me tell you about some of the distractions that have been clamoring for my attention in the past two weeks. A week ago Monday I started a new part-time job. It’s an hour away, more than doubling my commute time. But it’s part-time so that should be okay, right? Well, when you’re a teacher in a new school and classes are about to start, the words “part-time” lose their meaning. There are new procedures and curricula to learn, a website page to set up, colleagues to meet, lesson plans to prepare, paperwork to fill out, records to set up… And then come the students! So now there are new names and faces to learn, new personalities to get to know, more paperwork to prepare and process, beginning assessments to score… The lists seem endless.
Add to that the fact that my 11-year-old son started school this Monday – his first year in middle school. So along come an orientation meeting, supply shopping, clothes shopping, getting back into the school-year morning and evening routines … and then all the paperwork from his school for parents to sign.
Oops! Forgot the laundry – and picking up more milk – and doing my Bible study…
We’ve all been there, in these busy times when the clamor of life tries to pull us away from our focus on God. It’s not my first rodeo, so to speak. But this time there’s a difference. Why? Because God has gotten my attention through this Bible study and refocused my heart and mind on Himself. I’ve made the choice to say YES to Him, no matter what. (Okay, you may know me well enough to know that I don’t get this perfect – but that is the desire of my heart.) So even though I got sidetracked from doing my online Bible study for a few days, He has continually called my attention back to Himself. How?
- At many such times in the past, I have “taken a break” from my daily time of prayer and reading the Bible. By His grace, I have said YES to Him each morning through this hectic time of change.
- When faced with the pressure of getting to school on time when I don’t know how long it will take in school-year morning traffic (and I left a few minutes later than I wanted), I could feel the anxiety growing inside me. I could hear the call to give up, stop trying to do this crazy thing, just go back to what is comfortable – and in the past I have let such thoughts dominate my emotions. But then I heard the voice of my Savior. “Praise me.” Okay, Jesus, here goes. And songs of praise lifted my anxiety and assured me of His strength to get through this. (Oh, and I got to work on time.)
- After getting behind on the Bible study, my natural inclination would have been to say, “Well, I guess this is just not a good time to do this right now, what with the new job and all its demands on my time and attention.” But thanks be to God, He placed in my heart an eagerness to dig into the study this morning when I had some time off. And there He spoke His encouragement to my heart… not to give up, not to live in my “I can’t” world, but to follow Him in His strength.
But He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your great love that calls me from where I am into Your presence, into growth in my walk of faith with You. Thank You for forgiving me when I mess things up and forget to trust You, and for gently calling my attention back to Yourself. Thank You that when I am weak, You are strong in and for me.