Time on Our Hands

Our generation is obsessed with time. We are determined to make every minute count. Executives attend seminars on time management. Busy moms shuffle scheduled school events and childrens church and community activities, wondering how they can balance housekeeping, carpooling and part-time jobs. Retired couples find time on their hands; bored and restless they plan trips they may not be able to afford and hide the reality that they have drifted apart. Why must we always be busy? Where are the carefree hours on the front porch swing or evening strolls?

I need to turn from the obsession of time on my hands and focus on the assurance that time is in His hands. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) He has a perfect plan and purpose. Students study history by the use of time lines and noteworthy events. From conception, until my last fleeting breath, time propels me closer to Him and the heavenly home He has prepared. “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2a NKJ).” As time ticks away, I find joy in a moment of solitude and guilt free daydreaming of times ahead….

Over the Threshold

A man and woman make a lifelong commitment with stammering vows and wobbly knees. They promise to love and cherish “till death do us part” and seal it with a passionate kiss. The happy couple cuts the towering cake; hopeful unwed girls scamper in attempts to catch the bouquet and be the next bride down the aisle. Well wishers throw rice and tied cans trail behind the getaway vehicle.

It is official; the ink has dried on the wedding license, they are now husband and wife! Upon arrival at their honeymoon destination the groom checks in and escorts his new bride to the honeymoon suite. He unlocks the door to their future and carries her over the threshold.

We are the bride of Christ; the Lord has carried us above to heavenly places. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-6 NAS).” We yearn for the day when Christ will carry us over the threshold into our heavenly home! (John 14:1-3)

Revolving Door

Do you feel like you are living your life going around and around in a revolving door? We all have days when we don’t believe we are accomplishing anything; we may even feel a little light headed. If those days turn into weeks and months, we need to purposely step out, free ourselves from the revolving door.

Often we realize we are not in the revolving door alone; though separated by barriers we sense another’s presence. We hope their stay is only temporary, that they will also step out to the freedom of fresh air.

As we exit a building through a revolving door, it often takes a few minutes to get our bearings. We need to get our balance and adjust to the surroundings of busy traffic, crowded sidewalks and weather conditions. If the sun is bright we may feel blinded temporarily. When weather conditions are extremely hot, cold, or stormy our body will need to adapt to that as well.

Change is coming. Our life style and busy schedule suddenly stops. We adjust to changes after exiting the revolving door in order to enjoy our slower paced life. It will be worth it all! “The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth forever (Psalm 121:8 NAS).” Jesus is our Doorman!

Communication Breakdown

We do not need to speak a foreign language to experience communication breakdown. Often we carry on conversations with those close to us, and discover the message misses the target. We know exactly what we mean; they are equally convinced they understand. Lines are crossed, and a breakdown in communication develops. We are currently experiencing a breakdown in interpretation of issues relevant to all. It’s nothing new, but we must address the problem and be on guard to avoid traps.

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter (Isaiah 5:20 NAS).” We must not deceive ourselves or mislead others.  A small child easily distinguishes bitter or sweet; feed them baby spinach and they make faces at you. Spoon feed chocolate pudding and be prepared to keep that spoon coming. I want childlike faith that trusts the one feeding me; I can be assured that the Lord offers me good, not evil!

Burning the Candle at Both Ends

Are you burning your candle at both ends?  You may get burned!  We frequently push our minds and bodies to the limits, draining the last drop of energy. There is so much work to do and so many problems to solve.  Society considers procrastination to be a weakness; there is wisdom in letting some things wait until tomorrow.  We will deal with life’s issues with renewed strength after a good night’s sleep.           

Our minds become landfills of anxiety, gloom and doom.  We rehash personal problems, family trouble, and even world crisis.  Soon, stress hinders sleep and dreamland becomes insomnia territory.  Tossing and Turning may have been a rock and roll hit record, but it is receives a gong in the wee hours of the morning. If only it were as easy to shut off our minds as shutting down our computers.       

Sleepless nights are nothing new.  Men counted stars above, before we numbered tiles in the ceiling.  “It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep (Psalms 127:2 NKJ).”  Let Him tuck you in bed tonight.  He will read you a story from His favorite book.  One day you will live happily ever after in His kingdom!

Every Job a Ministry

We look up to those who have answered the call of full time service in local churches. They deserve honor, respect, and above all our support and prayers. We may feel we have little to offer to the body of Christ to advance His kingdom. Truly, God will use as vessels those who are available and willing to do as He directs. Ask Him where you can best minister to others. Most congregations and communities in their midst have many needs waiting to be met. Tell your pastor you are ready to help in any way you can. Every job done for Jesus is a ministry. “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men (Colossians 3:23 NKJ).”

Many wrongly believe ministry is only the role of leaders of the flock. The Lord holds opportunities for each of us. We can influence lives of people our pastors could never reach. Some churches regularly do a ministry search, using questionnaires to determine the best place to fit each volunteer. Leaders can then fill openings in teaching, outreach and ministry. Do you enjoy working with children, youth, or adults? Teachers and assistants are always in demand. Have friends commented that you have a flair for decorating or cooking? Hospitality is a valuable ministry and your gifts can touch many. Do you realize the numerous needs of the elderly? Many have household and yard work chores; women would appreciate simple vehicle maintenance. What about your day job? It becomes a ministry when done to please the Lord. Every job can be a ministry; find your place, roll up your sleeves and keep busy!

Irreconcilable Differences

We have all heard the final decision, irreconcilable differences, marking the end of a marriage. A judge signs his name to official documents, and two people once pledged as one separate. They each try to pick up the broken pieces, and say goodbye to a love they once knew. Divorce is a reality; it leaves its mark on individuals, families and society. There are many contributing factors, but we discover irreconcilable differences at the top of the list.

The word irreconcilable is such a tragic word. It implies any hope of agreement and settling disputes is impossible. If partners truly have tried through counseling to be reconciled, they must feel defeated. Praise God; we are not permanently separated from God by irreconcilable differences!

 Jesus closed the gap, and our great counselor, the Holy Spirit healed all our wounds. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) Not only are we reconciled to the heavenly Father, He gives us a ministry to reconcile others.  Hear the plea, “ Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:20-21 NAS).” We can leave our lives of defeat behind, and put to death our fears of irreconcilable differences.

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