It’s been a long week. Lots of snow, pent-up in the house, a case of cabin fever coming on. Ugh!
And that’s the attitude I sat down with when I opened up my bible this morning. Just, ugh! But years of experience have taught me the value of spending time in God’s word daily, so I started reading where I left off yesterday, at Matthew, chapter 6. I’ve read this passage more times than I can remember, and I’m guessing that many of you have, too. Even folks who don’t own a bible have likely heard this passage…it’s the one where Jesus teaches us how to pray. We call it the Lord’s Prayer.
I’ve really been struggling with my quiet time for a while now. I get so distracted. I’ll start to read or pray, and all of a sudden I’m thinking about the bags I plan on making next, or the chores I’ve got to get done before lunch time, or a new design that’s itching to get out of my head and onto some fabric, or how I’m going to promote my product and increase sales, or….you get the picture. Time and time again I have to pull myself up short, breathe a prayer of apology to the Lord, and try again, only to find myself back in the vicious cycle. Let me tell you, I’ve been very discouraged recently, and I KNOW it’s because I’m not getting my priorities straight.
So this morning I started working my way through the Lord’s Prayer. “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name.” Shame filled me as I realized that in all of my distraction, I was putting all those things in front of the holy God of creation. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done.” I had to stop and agree that, when I allow His will to be done in my life instead of pushing my plan forward, there is so much more peace, so much more joy…”Give us this day our daily bread.” I stopped short there. I must admit, I’ve been allowing myself to be anxious about my sales. The coffers are empty. I’ve got no more funds to work with right now. Then the Lord reminded me of the piles of materials I’ve got tucked in my nook upstairs, reminded me of what I had to work with when this whole bag business got started. I had nothing then, either, and within a very short time He brought me more…which led me straight into “and forgive us our debts.” Debts, unrighteousness, sin….this stopped me cold, because it started dawning on me that my biggest issue was lack of contentedness. There I was, fussing about what I didn’t have, when I truly had so very much. I was focusing on the ‘more’ I wanted and not the ‘enough’ that I already had. I took the liberty of changing that line of the prayer. “Forgive me, Lord, for being discontented.”
I stopped there, because the next thought that come to mind was a golden nugget of truth found in 1 Timothy. Chapter 6, verses 6-9, to be exact. “Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction” (emphasis added). I realized that I had been falling into the destructive consequences of desiring greater success and more income from my business. That’s not to say that working toward success and desiring to make some money from my craft is wrong…no, the wrong came in when I started ‘treasure hunting,’ letting that desire rob my joy, steal my attention away from my Lord, and dictate my daily decisions.
Thank the Lord for His saving grace…that I can come to Him with this garbage that is stinking up this life that is supposed to be His, and know that He will wash it way. He gives me a fresh start, today is a new day, and with His help, I can live in joy, free from the strangling concerns that have been keeping me from being the woman He created me to be….”Godliness with contentment is great gain.” In Him, I will be content today. What greater treasure could I ask for?
Photo by D Sharon Pruitt of Pink Sherbert Photography
licensed by Creative Commons