So often we find ourselves frustrated by the fruit of our harvest asking ourselves why have the promises of God fallen short? I am regularly guilty of asking why me…again.
But, as I read Psalms 1 today… again, a feeling of pure bliss came over me as I visualized this scripture. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water,That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper (Psalms 1:3 NKJV). That tree is like the ultimate dream to me. How wonderful it would be to be planted by rivers of water where I can hear the water ripple and the birds chirp and cold water seep into my roots as I drink from this place of refreshing. How awesome it would be if I land in a place where I exude confident strength while being planted in a place of serenity, strength and fruitfulness. Oh how I wish this could be for me. But, for the first time, this morning, it clicked for me… this could be me…and truth be told it could be you.
As I write the very words, “this could be me,” I feel the wheels of resistance pushing forth within my soul. I feel my soul remind me that a place of confident, refreshing rest has never been my reality, so how could it be now. My soul says it can barely remember a time when I didn’t feel run down, forgotten and overrun by life. My life couldn’t be more busy with four kids in 3 different schools, one long distance preparing for college, while I’m still trying to figure out how to pursue my passion, satisfy my husband, and not get lost in the process. Really Lord? What kind of practical joke is this?
And then it clicked…as I read Psalms 1,
One word literally hit me…
ok, stop, pause.
I know your immediate reaction might go something like this, “ain’t nobody got time to be pulling out a yoga mat in the carpool line chanting Namaste.” Or, “if I had free time like that, I wouldn’t be busy.”
But that’s not what He’s talking about here. And, honestly, what he’s talking about, you already spend time doing all day…
The question isn’t do you have time to think…
But rather what do you use your time to think about.
Literally. .. what are you thinking about all day.
Most times I’m thinking about how am I going to do this and be there. How can I be here and be there at the same dang time. So, if my thoughts are here and there, then how can they be on Him. Look, I’m not about to go super spiritual when really I know all you need is the super practical.
So here it is…
You are never going to experience that tree sitting by the river being refreshed all day. There I said it. You’re not.
Not doing things the way you’ve been doing them expecting a different result.
You want something different, but often we are not willing and committed to doing something different.
The key to the refreshing as this scripture illustrates is your thoughts. Ask yourself what thoughts are you basking in… because what you are thinking about is running your life.
You have given your thoughts, which never earned a license, the keys to drive. And the only place those same thoughts are driving you is…CRAZY. And don’t ask me how I know. Lol
So, today, I declare I’m taking my keys back. Busyness, anxiety, fear, worry ain’t driving no more. Take your keys back and drive your thoughts to Jesus.
Here are some steps I have taken in 2018 that might help you shape what this might practically look like.
Step One: Erase one thing off your things to do list this week. Just one. It needs to be a thing that you’ve allocated at least an hour for. For me, it was NOT going to one of my kid’s basketball games.
Step Two: Sit in that feeling of guilt. The feeling of fearing letting people down. That you’re being selfish. Because the Truth is you may let someone down, and you are being selfish. My question to you is how has not behaving that way worked out for you. Busy, worn down and weary are not paths God ever speaks of desiring for us. Caring for the temple of God positions us to pursue His purpose, and trumps guilt and other people. Remember, it is impossible to please God and people.
Step Three: During that hour, take that time you committed to be somewhere else and sit down with one Chapter in the Book of Psalms, any are great, but I found a great deal of wisdom in Psalms 37. Read it slowly, like at the pace you read it when you were just learning how to read.
Step Four: As you read it slowly, see which word or phrase (usually no more than 3) jumps out at you.
Step Five: Ask the Lord, why that specific word(s) jumped out at you specifically.
Step Six: Be deliberate about creating more quiet space to reflect and think. For me, since I spend soooo much time in the car driving from one activity to the next. On the car ride where I have no kids, I turn off the radio, put the cell phone out of reach or on airplane mode, and reflect on the word or phrase that jumped out at me in Psalms. It’s much easier to remember a word or two than a whole verse. As your thoughts race back to the things you have to do, pop those words from Psalms into your mind.
If you change your thought…you can change your life…