Wrestling with my fleshly desires is an ongoing battle. I want what I want, and I often will find ways to get it. But, if I look closer at who is wrestling, I might see myself wrestling with God: trying to wrestle away from His loving care and provisions…trying to wrestle out of relationship when things don’t go the way I want.
How do you define victory? Recently, I have been thinking about this word that represents a few things. It seems to indicate there is a winner and a loser. And that there is a struggle. And while it is often used to describe physical things, I am currently caught up in the spiritual perspective. These days, I view most struggles and victories in the spiritual realm. And knowing the ultimate victory has been won for me by the blood of Jesus is a blessed assurance.
Where are you coming from? How are you looking at things? What “experience filter” are you using as you look at things? It is important in our human relationships to consider the other person’s point of view. And it is also very important to consider God’s point of view. Perspective makes a huge difference and seeking to understand goes a long way in relationships, even if it isn’t achieved 100%.
A relationship built on grace and love often also involves trust. I trust that you are doing the best you can in the moment you are in. It might not be the way I would do it. It might not be the absolute best way to handle it, but, because we are in a relationship, I trust your intention. I will give you the benefit of the doubt.
These days, I am looking for some sanctuary from the conflicts in the world and the conflicts in relationships. With all of the restricted movement and concerns about passing on or receiving the coronavirus, many people are missing their opportunity to be in a place of peace and rest. A place of sanctuary and words of comfort and joy.
Where is one of your favorite places for refuge or safety?
Each day it is important for me to pause and rest. There is no sense in running on empty. It doesn’t do anyone any good. Building in time for quiet and rest is a way for me to be rewired. When I am resting in His Grace I am able to “pass it on” to those around me.
During this season, I crave quiet, but it is not a great time to access it due to business demands. So, I combat it by getting up earlier than others in my household and going to bed earlier as well. By the time Christmas comes around, I don’t have energy for much of anything. But, for me, that is ok. Sometimes the preparations for a Christmas event can distract from the reason of the celebration.
Is there something that you can remove from your schedule that will allow you to relax and help you savor this time more?
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. 2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.” 3 The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
4 Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev. 5 Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. 6 Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them. [Psalm 126, NIV]
Yesterday, I was visiting with one of my children about how our mood can change just by being able to see a photo or video of one of the babies in our family. They have been the source of a lot of laughter and joy for all of us this year!
The heaviness of the complications and challenges of our daily lives these days threatens to steal our laughter and joy. I don’t know about you, but I am wee bit tired. If I don’t leave the house very often and the news is not on, I don’t think about this pandemic very much. But then, I have to do something and I remember — everything takes longer. And, too often, I forget to build in that extra time to accomplish the task I set out to do.
The Lord has done great things. The Lord is doing great things. And the Lord will continue to do great things.
Even in the midst of the challenges of our days — and we are all facing some level of challenge — the Lord is doing great things. Take time to focus on those things and, quite often the laughter and joy will follow.
Opportunities to serve and give and love are all around us! I know when I am feeling depleted, I want to be the one on the receiving end. It is important to take the time to be refreshed and renewed, otherwise we will miss the opportunities, large and small, to serve.