Oct 17, 2017

When Life Becomes Crazy


So teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
  - Psalm 90:12







I have an hour to write this blog post.  Life has been really busy, but I use that excuse too often.

I'm tired of feeling behind, of apologizing for late responses, of not feeling dedicated to what is most important.  I'm tired of telling my little sister that I'm too busy to play dolls with her.  And I'm tired of not being completely dedicated to God's agenda.

That's the problem, isn't it?  Life is always my agenda vs. God's.  The problem is, I usually let myself win.

But I don't want to sit here and complain.  (which would be ironic considering my last few posts)  ;)  My goal isn't to make you see how crazy my life is and to offer excuses for why I haven't been responding to blog comments.  But I do know that many of you can relate with this problem.  You're busy, pressed for time, and wondering if it's possible to live in joy with your eyes upon Jesus.

My family was reading Mark 6 this week, and there were several interesting comments.  Actually, they're just now starting to connect in my head, so bear with me as I try to share this.  =)

In Mark 6:7-12, Jesus sends out the twelve disciples and gives them power.  (I recommend you take time to read the entire passage if possible.)  They travel all over the place, casting out demons and healing the sick.  They are doing the unimaginable!

But when they come back to Jesus, they're tired.  So Jesus offers a break.

And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.  - Mark 6:31

Guess what happens?  They row across the sea to a nice, deserted place.  But instead of taking a nap, they end up feeding five thousand people who follow them.  And after all that craziness is over, they row back across the sea and encounter a storm.  Finally, they reach land and immediately people recognize Jesus and bring him sick people on beds.

Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well. - Mark 6:56

That's just the end of the chapter, but the story goes on.  (read here)

Don't you feel some pity for the exhausted group?  They just want to take a break and catch their breath.  Instead, life goes on like a roller coaster of ups and downs and lefts and rights.

Imagine what it must have been like.  Think of the disciples like Matthew.  He had been a tax collector who sat in a booth.  He probably wasn't fit and excited for more travelling, rowing, and activity.  

And fishermen don't seem like social people.  What did Peter, Andrew, James, and John think about being surrounded by crowds who wouldn't leave unless Jesus healed their sick?  Were they eager to run away and just be alone for enough time to eat in solitude?

But then I think of Jesus.  And I realize that the situation didn't matter.  It didn't rule His life.  It didn't dictate His emotions or attitudes.

Jesus fed the hungry people.  He healed the sick.  He even loved the people who sought Him for nothing more than personal gain.

Dear friend, it doesn't matter what storms we're trying to row out of.  It doesn't matter how big the waves are and how dark the sky is.

The stars are still shining.  And Jesus is still strong.

The situation doesn't determine us.  Temptation isn't a sin.  But what we do in the storm does matter.

Even if you're busy or sick or heart-broken or worried, remember that Jesus walks on water in the midst of the storms.  The waves mean nothing to Him.

Despite the busyness of life, we can thrive in His love.  We can have joy.

It's a decision.  Are you going to live today in a way that counts?  Or are you going to race against life and waste the minutes that slip by?

Live a life that counts, and never forget what Jesus said.

“Be of good cheer!  It is I; do not be afraid.” - Mark 6:50




15 comments:

  1. Aaaahhh, life! It can get so crazy sometimes! Thank you for this, Hosanna - I especially love the lines, "The stars are still shining. And Jesus is still strong." God has comforted me with that. <3

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    1. That makes me so happy, Lila! I didn't know what to write in this post, but I'm glad that God used it to comfort you. Isn't He amazing?!

      Yes, life is absolutely crazy! But knowing that God is in control of time itself (and has a perfect plan for our lives!) is so reassuring. I think one of the things we miss out most during the busyness is taking time to praise Him. How often do we just sit down and thank Him for His goodness?

      No matter how hard life gets, He's got this, Lila. ♥

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  2. Beautiful Hosanna! Jesus truly does shine brightly in the busyness if we choose to see Him through it. Lots of love to you!

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    1. Lots of love to you too, Hannah! ♥ I know you're in a place similar to me right now...and it's way too easy to let distractions overrule priorities. Keep fighting for Him, dear friend! He'll never let us down.

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  3. I love how you said "The situation doesn't determine us. Temptation isn't a sin. But what we do in the storm does matter."
    Life gets crazy, temptation comes. It's hard to stand up against temptation, the Bible says to flee from it. And what we do in the struggles and hard times is what defines us.
    Thanks for this encouragement.... it's easy to get caught up in the worlds craziness.
    Also, one time I was talking to my older sister... she was involved in a lot of things at our church and it was draining her, we were talking about how, like water, if you're stretched out too far then everyone gets the shallow part of you - meaning you can't give your all to everything. So sometimes it's better to be involved in a few things so you can give more of yourself to it. I'm not sure where life's craziness has you right now Hosanna; but sometimes it's okay to take a break to just breath. Jesus separated Himself from everyone to spend time alone with the Father. We need to do that too. If not we'll continually feel drained.
    But God remains strong.
    Thanks Hosanna :)

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    1. Sarah!! It made me smile to "hear from you" today. =)

      I heard a quote similar to what you said...what we do in the hard times is what defines us (or who we are). Ouch, right? I like to think that my good times are my true self...not my weaknesses! But it's true. When Christians are persecuted for their faith, their true belief comes out. Are we faithful?

      I have certainly been there too, Sarah. The analogy fits - we become shallow if we become too busy. And I appreciate your encouragement so much! I considered not even posting today...because it's nice to take a break and catch my breath. ;) But sometimes I think God likes to use us at our most exhausted times - because then HE gets all the glory!

      But breaks are beautiful things. (reminds me of how little kids dislike naps and parents crave them, haha) And God knows that; that's why He gave us the Sabbath as a day of rest. Isn't it amazing how much He understands our needs?

      Keep running for the prize no matter how tired you are, Sarah! I'm thankful for your encouragement and desire to live out radical Christianity. But, like you said, sometimes we need to take a break and let Jesus do the running for us. ♥

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  4. I think the beauty of this post (and I would call it beautiful) is that you wrote it when you were living it. Right in the thick of busy, exhausting life, you took time to love your readers here by writing to us, and even under pressure, your love for God shines through. I really appreciate what you said to Sarah: "I think God likes to use us at our most exhausted times - because then HE gets all the glory!"

    Thanks for writing this!

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    1. Jordy, I almost laugh when I read your words, because so often my life doesn't "feel" beautiful. I don't appreciate the treasure of each moment when other things overcrowd it. And then I become discouraged, wondering if I'm even making a difference.

      But what's truly beautiful is Him. He uses our weak moments. He's with us in "busy, exhausting life" as you put it. And He still has a plan - even when I forget.

      Thank you for the encouragement, my friend. Busyness can make me feel far from God...but He's always faithful. ♥ I know you're in a similar place of busyness right now, and I encourage you to keep pressing onward. Nothing can ever separate you from His love. (Romans 8:35-39) What precious promises!

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    2. Yes, I'm sure your life doesn't feel beautiful many times, especially in the thick of busyness. I look forward for the day that you and I can look back on our lives with a more complete perspective and say, "wow, it *was* beautiful, because God." Because as you said, what's truly beautiful is Him. <3

      Thank you for the encouragement directly from God's Word! Indeed, what precious promises!

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    3. You know, thinking of some of the people in the Bible, I suppose life isn't always supposed to look "beautiful." I'm reading Ezekiel right now. He did crazy things, sounded completely negative to everyone around him, and wasn't even allowed to mourn his wife's death. Is that an "epic" or "beautiful" life? But he was used by God. So maybe what counts isn't us at all...it's Him. Even if outwardly we look like a failure, He's still able to mold us into His image.

      Anyway, just some random thoughts. =) When we are weak, He is strong. I'm so thankful for that. I'm also thankful for your words reminding me to always keep my eyes upon Jesus.

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    4. That's very true! Life isn't always beautiful. I think there's a very real temptation to make it look beautiful by the world's standards to non-believers to entice them... but the gospel has a beauty of it's own - a different sort of beauty - that will attract those whom God has predestined for adoption to son ship through Christ Jesus. There are definitely things about God's ways that are not appealing, but I think that in the right time, the right people will see the beauty that God intends for us to see.

      Heheh, my random thoughts, too. XP These conversations we have are so precious to me.

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    5. Random thought are always fun, Jordy. And I think mine might be random too. =)

      That reminds me of what you mentioned in a book review - the prosperity Gospel. To say, "God will give you love, joy, and peace; He'll protect and treasure you, and you'll be His adopted child!" is true...but He also says we'll face persecution. He tells us to take up our cross and follow Him.

      It's Love. But it's a deeper Love. It's sacrificing everything because you're so overwhelmed by greater things. The beauty of being a Christian isn't just being joyful and secure (although that should come too). It's a relationship with the King of Kings...and nothing else matters. This world is temporal, after all. CHRIST is what's beautiful.

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    6. I completely agree! Christ is the beautiful One at the centre of the gospel and as our eyes focus on Him, it becomes a joy to endure trials for a short time on this earth. In fact we realize that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed. <3

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  5. Ah this is quite beautiful, Hosanna :) Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank you, Ashley. =) Life can be overwhelming at times, but He's in control! He's always faithful. He's always strong.

      As Galatians says, "let us not grow weary while doing good." Keep pressing on for Jesus, my friend!

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