|"Human beings are very unbalanced and prone to go off on tangents. In every area of life - with too great emphasis on one thing, leaving out another important thing altogether. None of us will ever be perfectly balanced in our spiritual lives, our intellectual lives, our emotional lives, our family lives, in relationships with other human beings, or in our business lives. BUT WE ARE CHALLENGED TO TRY, WITH THE HELP OF GOD. We are meant to LIVE IN THE SCRIPTURES." - Edith Schaeffer, What Is a Family?|
Oh how I can relate to Mrs. Schaeffer's words of wisdom - taking great care to focus on one area of life, only to realize another has been neglected.
I remember to read to the little one. I forget to call and check on my parents. I get to my Bible reading. I forget Scripture memory. I mail the bills. I neglect a farm chore.
And here we've begun a brand new year. Reminds me of the first day of school. Full of hope. No smudged papers. No broken crayons. Perfectly sharpened pencils. Unblemished erasers. Dreams of perfect days spent reading to my rosy cheeked offspring and success in checking everything of importance off the to-do list.
And then...reality sets in. The first crayon breaks. Johny gets the flu. A textbook doesn't arrive. I fail to do the most important thing. Again. Like a driver whose just put a dent in his first new car, a wave of discouragement threatens to steal the joy. Life in a fallen world. Unbalanced.
And what does Mrs. Schaeffer mean when she says "we are meant to live in the Scriptures?" In the passage quoted, she was specifically speaking of the need to have a Scripture-centered home -- one which relays truth to the next generation. She points out that the Bible is the Word of God, and we are to find out what it says. God's Word is perfectly balanced. Human beings are not.
The enemy of my soul seeks to render me ineffective and discouraged. To remind me that I lack balance and should simply give up. My God seeks to direct my attention upward. Where it belongs. I am weak. He is strong. Every dilemma, big or small, is simply a reminder to look up. I NEED HIM. He is the God of hope and new beginnings. His mercies are new. Not just on the first day of every new year. Every morning. I am to trust Him. And the Scriptures are where these truths are learned. To be passed on. To be meditated upon. Living and powerful.
A short time ago, during a sermon at church, a comment was made as to how many chapters would have to be read per day in order to finish the entire Bible by the end of the year. And as to how, while we want to study scripture carefully, it's also good just to read. Often. To be saturated by the Word.
Many in my family wanted to try. Some wanted to finish a reading plan already begun. Personally, I tend to thrive when pursuing short term goals, skipping around a lot is my tendency, and I thought it would be good for me to read straight through. In a short time. It was good for me.
So the comments made at church, Mrs. Schaeffer's words in regards to seeking balance and living in the scriptures, and the quotes which follow about the making of a saint have been a great source of encouragement.
|According to Warren Wiersbe, "A divine dissatisfaction is essential for spiritual progress." And Paul Bilheimer, in Overcomers Through The Cross, reminds us that God takes a lifetime to make a saint. "An unripe apple is not fit to eat, but we should not therefore condemn it. It is not yet ready for eating because God is not done making it. It is a phase of its career and good in its place.|
I don't know about you, but for me, dissatisfaction is necessary for most any sort of progress in my life. Dissatisfaction with the status quo. Realizing that standing still isn't an option. There's forward, by God's grace. There's backwards. Whether in the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, family, relational, or business life. And because I never achieve perfect balance in any area while here on earth, there is always the "challenge to try, with the help of God."
And when I speak of *dissatisfaction*, I do not mean a lack of contentment regarding God's will. But simply that I must never become *satisfied* with where I am spiritually, intellectually, etc....I must never come to believe that I have arrived.:)
So 2013 is here, and this mother desires to grow spiritually while taking time to "live in the scriptures." She'd like to grow intellectually, read a few classics and learn more about so many things. She'd like to do a better job of teaching the younger ones their lessons and of relaying truth to the next generation. Entering into their joys and enjoying the moments which so quickly pass. And a better job of encouraging and praying for the older ones. Family life is very high on the priorities list. She'd like to spend more individual time listening to the hopes and prayers and interests of each of her children. And what about the business of the farm and helping with that? Better add that to the list. And how about reaching out to the community and relationships with other human beings?
Much to do. Much to pray about. Life is busy. For everyone. Life in a fallen world can be frightening, but God can be trusted. Move forward. Hope. Am I taking time to hear? To hear what God wants? How am I to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever? In 2013? Will I live in the Scriptures?
I pray for balance and desire time to truly listen and look to the One who is Sovereign over and knows all things. The One who isn't done making me yet.
And what stood out to me most while reading through the Scriptures this time is that meditating on them is the best preparation for when trials come, and they will come. Examples and illustrations will come to mind whenever in a quandary or pondering some decision or action. They contain wisdom and warnings of how we fall when we take our eyes off the Lord and trust in our own might. Or when Pride rears it's very unattractive head.
In 2013, I'm sure I'll sometimes be frustrated as I realize I've emphasized one thing and neglected another. Wisdom will be needed. I'll teeter and lose my balance. But the Scriptures are where answers are found. They will point back in the right direction. Back to the One who gives balance, directs paths, and will stand this *unripe apple* upright again.
And in these early days of 2013, I thank God for the gift of His word, for those in my life who teach and encourage more prayer, reading and study, for the challenge to seek the help of the Lord, and as a dear friend had written in big letters on his desk, I pray that my family and I will daily remember to ASK HIM!
May God bless your 2013 as you eagerly reach forward to new things ahead, and may you find your balance, help and hope in our Great and Mighty God and Savior, Jesus Christ!
"Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." ~~Philippians 3: 12-14~~