What a crazy, long week last week turned out to be!
I have two special speaking engagements this week (in addition to Monday night Bible Study), and spent the beginning of last week studying, praying, and preparing. I felt really good about the progress I was making, so I decided to spend last Wednesday cleaning, doing laundry, raking leaves. etc...
I was so full of joy ~ serving my family ~ eagerly anticipating what God has planned for my engagements this week. Everything was perfect ~ my family was healthy, I was healthy, the sun was shining, my house was clean, my deadlines were on target...ahh...life was good!!
And then I received a hallmark card through my e-mail. Isn't John sweet, I thought. I proceeded to open the e-mail, only to learn it was a horrible virus that immediately shut down my computer. Ahhh!!
Thursday was spent crying and praying and calling every Geek Squad Mobile out there. I finally found a locally owned company (Nerdswarm), and a very knowledgeable, gracious "computer fixer". Shawn came over late at night to help (I think he could sense my desperation!!) ~ and unfortunately, the virus had really made a huge mess of things. My computer (and all of my projects/work/speaking engagements) needed to leave my house. The stress was almost too much to bear.
To make this long story short, my computer was finally up and completely running on Sunday afternoon. In the mean time, I spent 5 long days anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed, and stressed. I tried to pray and trust God. I tried not to think about it. I tried to look on the bright side (fortunately I do have paper copies of most of my work). I thought I was going to develop an ulcer.
My daily devotion from Jesus Calling was perfectly timed, as always. It read...
"...my main work is to clear out debris and clutter, making room for My Spirit to take full possession. Collaborate with Me in this effort be being willing to let go of anything I choose to take away. I know what you need, and I have promised to provide all of that - abundantly!
Your sense of security must not rest in your possessions or in things going your way. I am training you to depend on Me alone, finding fulfillment in My Presence. This entails being satisfied with much or with little, accepting either as My will for the moment. Instead of grasping and controlling, you are learning to release and receive. Cultivate this receptive stance by trusting Me in every situation."
If last week was a test, I don't even want to think about the grade I would have received. However, I do know that God worked out every detail perfectly. I was able to contact everyone I needed before Monday. I was able to finish my hand-outs for Tuesday. And I've been able to use my computer all week for my talk tomorrow night. In the big scheme of things, my computer challenge now seems relatively small.
The lesson I learned though is huge. Those two words release and receive have taken on a whole new meaning to me. I want to live with open hands before God, willing to release anything to Him. My computer. My need for control. My addiction to Diet Coke. My anxiety. My fears.
Once I've released any and all things getting in the way of my perfect, love relationship with Him, I want to have open hands to receive. His wisdom. An abundance of grace. His Spirit without limit. Power for witnessing. I want my hands to be wide open and ready to receive ALL that He has for me!!
What about for you?? Is there anything in your life that you are clinging on to?? Clutter or debris that needs to be cleared out??
May I encourage you to stop, place your hands out before you, palms up, (go ahead and do it now) and ask the Lord to release these burdens from you. Don't close your hands up yet! Keep them open and get ready to receive from Him ~ in abundance!! And may God bless you with His Presence and Peace in ever-increasing measure!!
P.S. I highly recommend the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young (sorry, my links aren't working yet on my computer or I'd link you there). If you don't own a copy yet, put it on your Christmas list. You'll be so grateful you did! :)