Consumed

Consumed

Psalm 119:56-58 (NLT)

This is how I spend my life: obeying your commandments. Lord, you are mine! I promise to obey your words! With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised.

 

Today is the day. It is my last day at the job I have had since the day our youngest went to kindergarten. She is now in the 7th grade in middle school turning into a young woman more so every day. I have been through many stages of life in this place I call “work”. Her first day of kindergarten when I cried all the way to work. Learning the school system and its many processes, taking on new things I didn’t even know that I knew how to do, going from a simple secretary to coordinator of three departments. It was the place where I waited for my son to call from the Middle East. These were the ones who encouraged me when the next one headed off to college. They were also the ones who would help me through the darkest days of my life when our son was diagnosed with cancer. We celebrated my daughter’s wedding together. So many stages of life, all shared in this place. It is where I spent most of making awake moments of live these last several years. I loved what I do there. But sadly, I have come to realize that at some point my work consumed me. Too much of my time, emotions and life.

God has opened the door of another opportunity. I am excited and a bit anxious at the same time. New things to learn and do. Challenges to meet and success to be found. In leaving, I find that God is completing a process in me that up until today I was unaware of. When our son was diagnosed with cancer, I was sold out to my job. I went in early, stayed late, did not take lunches, and worried about even when I was at home. When our son fell ill and I had to go take care of him, I actually considered alternating care with other family members concerned about my time away from work and getting the job done. I have shared many times the epiphany that I had when I saw him get out of the car in the middle of a parking lot as sunlight hit my very sick child. I couldn’t leave him. What was I thinking? How could I ever have even considered it? The burden of my job fell off in that moment. God became my provider again in my own heart. My role as mother took its rightful place again. But that was then, now life is normal again. The process was not complete. I realize that once something consumes you it is very difficult to go back – we must move forward. I am empty. To be filled requires a new source.

I choose how I spend my life. It is all part of the miraculous new life and freedom that the Lord has given us. I choose. I don’t always choose wisely. Sometimes time slips through my fingers like sand at the ocean shore. But now with a little more life behind me, I am more aware of each precious second. I feel it moving through my hands as it passes by. What do I want out of life? Fulfillment. Contentment. Satisfaction. My Source for these things is Christ alone. What do I “spend” my time doing to fill these voids. As I prepare for this final day, I am acutely aware that going into the next season the Lord does not want me to become consumed with work again. He wants to fill my life with all the good things He promised which means letting go of the past.

John 6:26-27 (NLT)

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

 

I am my father’s daughter. We are given to taking on more than we can handle, committing more time than we have, and becoming consumed in everything we “do” in life. My mother has warned me for years that I take on too much. This has been truth in my life with Christ as well. I want to “do” it. But today, I am hearing a voice whisper to slow down and stop moving so fast. My next position does not have the crazy schedule or overwhelming responsibilities of the last. Most people would embrace this thought of an easier load. I am scared by it. What if I am not satisfied? What if I get bored? What if I am not happy there? What if it does not fulfill me? Well…it’s not supposed to. The Lord is slowing me down. I have sought things that are found only in the Lord from my job and the people who work there. It came up short. They fell short. It’s my own fault. My life belongs to Jesus. He gave it back to me, but after messing it all up again I handed it right back to Him gladly and willingly. But I am only human and the struggle is real. I work for a paycheck. That’s all. I seek full satisfaction and contentment from Jesus Christ. Lord, teach me in this new season not to become consumed with this life but YOU!

John 10:9-10 (NLT)

Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

 

Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life. He is the gateway to prosperity and blessing. Come to Him and it belongs to you. We miss this so many times. His Grace really is sufficient and enough for me. As I step out by faith through the door I know that He has opened, I have struggled with the fear of letting my family down. My family does not belong to me. They are a blessing in my life. As long as I commit my family to Christ and being the woman that I am supposed to be in Him – my husband and children are well taken care of. There is not a point in our life that the Lord says, “Here you do it.” Do not become weary in well doing is simply the reminder to keep following Christ. He is doing everything that He promised. Things you are aware of and many more that you have no clue. You just have to keep following Jesus. You don’t have to “do” anything other than remain in close fellowship. The “fruit” of service is born of the love you have for Him. It is an act of true love and not responsibility. You are not obligated to do anything but love God and other people. Love is the motivation of our life. We are to be consumed with love for the Lord that is the basis for every activity we “do” every day.

Psalm 145:14-16 (NLT)

The Lord helps the fallen and lifts those bent beneath their loads. The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.

 

Today I accept the challenge of change with the utmost hope that through this process I will fall more madly, passionately and deeply in love with Jesus. I want to be consumed by my love for Him as my primary motivation in life. The Lord helps the fallen. I have indeed tripped on this journey. He lifts those bent beneath their loads. I am unloading that which has kept me buried for so long. He is helping me. My eyes are focused back where they should be on living hope. As I take this next step, I do so knowing that when God opens His Hand, His Door, His Way that He satisfies every hunger, thirst and desire of His Beloved. I have nothing to fear. I do not need to worry. I need only to be consumed by His Love.

Ephesians 3:18-20 (NLT)

 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

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