PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• I am going to get a massage today. I don’t get them very often, but being the perfectionist I am, I generally try to schedule massages when no one or nothing can mess them up. In other words, I aim for times when I think there’s the least opportunity for drama to come along and stress me out.
I’m sure you can imagine how well that works for me. It’s why the last time I had a gift card for a massage, it ended up expiring because I didn’t want to “waste” it when I was stressed out.
Believe me; I think I’m just as crazy as you do. But if you haven’t figured it out by now—I’m a detail-oriented planner who loves to be in charge. Even down to the stressful moments I can’t do a thing about. At least I’m self-aware.
I can’t help but wonder if the Holy Spirit had me in mind when He ordained the words to James—“Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:14-15 ESV).
I wish I lived by these words more often. They are so true. I recently saw a sermon from Francis Chan that spoke of the shortness of this mortal life compared to our eternal ones. It was a brilliant illustration.
He started with a REALLY, REALLY long rope. The rope represents the eternity of the human spirit. At one end, he had taped maybe three inches of the rope with red tape to illustrate our time on earth. The point of his message was that we spend more time worrying about what happens in the short little red part than we do worrying about the eternity of our spirits.
There’s some Saturday-morning Wisdom for you, my friends. I wish I’d come up with that one. It makes so much sense to me.
Here I am, so focused on what MIGHT happen, that I create anxiety about an hour that’s supposed to relax me. Similarly, we spend so much time worrying about what he said, or she said… getting wrapped up in drama… focused on what we’re going to do next… chasing people and dreams, expecting them to fill us… In short, there’s a lot of misguided energy being spent here on earth.
You know I’m not judging. Clearly, I’ve illustrated my own tendency to do it.
But how do we fix it? Well, we don’t. We lean on Jesus and let Him fix it. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us. We can take a deep breath. Enjoy the massage. Let the drama go. Surrender the stress. Our bodies and time here are temporary; our spirits are eternal. We can trust that our three inches of mortality is nothing compared to the glorious eternity of being with Jesus.
Today, as you pray, thank God for creating us to be eternal spirits. Thank Him that He loves us so much. He designed us with the plan to be with us forever. But thank Him too that He loves us so much, that He gives us a choice—because love always allows one to choose. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you be aware of your priorities—the temporary ones versus the eternal ones. And ask Him to help you cast your stress and anxiety on Jesus, knowing that He’s willing to carry the load. Finally, if you are unsure of your eternal destiny, pray for forgiveness. Acknowledge your weaknesses and limitations and ask the Savior of the world to redeem you so you can spend the rest of your mortal life, knowing your eternity is secure with Jesus.