This year my word is “growth”. I picture a tree trunk swelling stronger and leaves flourishing bright green abundance. Blooming. Beautiful. Well, gosh darn it, if growth wouldn’t go hand-in-hand with pruning that which is not needed for the overall good of the tree.
I feel as though God has given a project and while I usually live in the world of transparency it will only be referred to as “project”. I am goal-orientated by nature, so it made sense in my head that this “project” would be done in about a year.
This morning, after several hours of pouring over my other ministries within the Body of Christ, I tended my most important ministry – the needs of my family. I went grocery shopping. There were choices made this morning about what brand of canned beans I wanted to buy. That is until I saw the prices. The cans went back on the shelf in favor of a massive bag of dried beans. Later I politely asked the cashier to take the chicken off my bill as the other “needs” were adding up quicker than expected. “No chicken on Tuesday… um… beans! We’ll have beans instead!” After squeezing out that which I could not afford, I headed home (but not until I texted “I hate grocery budgets” to my husband).
I was planning on working out with Jillian Michaels today, but suddenly, as I drove home the weekend flashed before my mind. I could either do lunges while stepping on the newly bought groceries and perhaps getting entangled in the unfolded laundry lying in the floor. Or I could continue on with the greater ministry of tending to the needs of my family.
You know when you start a new project and you’re really excited about it until you realize the dedication needed to bring it to fruition? How many times have we all started the Bible-in-a-Year program and by Deuteronomy we’re out? I try to carve out time for this project I feel God has brought to me, and it is a challenge! I really wanted to cry, “If You’ve called me to this then You must have called someone to do my laundry!”
I turned off the blaring car music (a sign that I was serious) and nearly threw up my hands in frustration! “God! How in the world am I suppose to fulfill this calling with all these other callings when…” And you know when you have an agenda of what you’re going to pray and God interrupts you? He interrupted me. “Endurance.”
I stopped yelling, and took a deep breath of submission.
Submission is not always easy for me, especially when it “messes” with things like time periods and goals and things that made sense to my poor finite brain. (Oh my goodness, do I serve a very good God.)
Endurance. Long suffering. Patience. Instead I asked, “Please give me the endurance I need, God. Give me patience.”
Yes, it will take time. To be diligent in this calling will also call for a prioritizing. Just like those chickens I had to decline in favor of dried beans, I will need to take my time very seriously. It’s a pruning of “dead time” in favor of fruit yielded in season. And it’s a pruning of my it-made-sense-in-my-head plan.
My “exercise” today was unloading the car of groceries and general housework. My physical muscles were never toned. However, God exercised my muscles of faith and obedience, and they’re a little sore.
Do you have a “project” that needs endurance? The project might very well be YOU! Be strong, girls! Be steadfast. Don’t give up. Give in. Give in.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3