Several years ago someone in my church decided that we should make a standing stone memorial like in the Old Testament (See Joshua 4). She took great pains to make a cement pillar with stones pressed into it creating a large mosaic of stones. When they presented this monument in church she encouraged us to think of something to write on a stone with a permanent marker. Something perhaps to offer God or a memory of thanksgiving.
I wrote: “All of me, All the time.”
I wanted, with all my heart, to give God all of me, all the time. That was my offering. I was committing the only thing I had to offer, myself, to Him.
And I have strived to do that. I want to be consistent. I want to be “all in.” And I continue to invite the Holy Spirit to show me areas of my life that are not yet submitted to God, because I want Him to rule my entire life. Well, the best part of me does--honestly parts of me rebel, but that’s another story. I left my writing on the stone behind me and tried my best to keep my commitment to God.
What I did not expect is what happened during the last year.
I was not thinking at all about that monument from years past as I faced fears about my competence to carry out the work God had lead me to take on. I had made mistakes and could foresee, try as I might, I was going to make mistakes again. I was ashamed. I was frustrated. I want to serve God wholeheartedly and He deserved so much more than I seemed able to give.
And then the Holy Spirit whispered back to me what I had written years ago - that commitment -- but changed it in a small but powerful way.
I want ALL OF YOU, ALL THE TIME… WEAKNESSES TOO.
Weaknesses too? Tears began to flow.
What I wrote on the monument was more about me than God. But God had redeemed it. He had used this moment of frustration and brokenness to show me that He again is the focus of the story. He’s the hero, not me. Never me.
He wants ALL of me, even the broken parts. Even knowing I will make mistakes. He has accepted all of me. He has bought me with a price – an astronomically high price. The death of the King. The death of His only son. The death of Jesus.
And so, as I reflect now on what I wrote then, it brings up thankfulness.
Thank you God for receiving, accepting and loving ALL of ME, ALL the TIME.
I can get really busy. And when I have a lot of responsibilities hanging over me, and there are more to-do’s than can get to-done in a day… well, I can get stressed out and have a hard time relaxing.
This passage has really helped me in these moments of “crazy-busyness”!
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
Psalm 103:13–14 (NIV84)
I laugh when I read that God remembers how we are formed… oh yeah, He was the one who made us all! And He formed us out of dirt!
...the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
...Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
Genesis 2:7, 22 (NIV84)
So, we were made from the dust of the ground. When I read that, I realized that no one would expect dust to be in charge of everything. The world does not ultimately depend on me! And those of us made from dust are pretty weak and fragile. Our Maker knows that we need rest.
I don’t know about you, but I can get an inflated sense of my importance and responsibility. This passage always seems to help me do a reality check.
God: Creator, All-Powerful = in Charge.
Jeri: Created Being, Glorified Dust = Humble Servant of the God who is in Charge
And God has compassion on me the way a good father would have compassion on his kids:
So, tonight, let's leave the big stuff in His capable hands and sleep well, my dusty friends.
What helps you keep things in perspective when you get busy?
Jeri writes about her spiritual journey as she lives out her everyday life.