“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
–Psalm 90:12 (NLT)
My wife and I just got home from a great trip, and I would like to share the highlights with you.
I had a wonderful and relaxing time visiting with Stephanie’s family and friends, and I always enjoy going out to dinner. We did some shopping at the Mall of America one day, and Stephanie really enjoyed that. (I wouldn’t have been too broken up if we left that part out.) But aside from that, the trip couldn’t have been better.
One night we played games with Steph’s father, which was both fun and relaxing. The next night we started to watch an interesting documentary about the popular rock group, the Eagles.
The only regret I had wasn’t really shopping. I thought the trip ended too quickly, and my wife and I both had mixed emotions when it was time to go back home.
If you really stop and think about it, isn’t that a lot like life? Just like wet paint on a canvas, one day runs into the next. Before we know it, all the friends we used to hang out with are gone, and we are suddenly growing old.
It seems to me that most of us are trying to deny life’s finite nature by going too fast, and we are obsessed with multi-tasking our way through the maze of life. We constantly tell ourselves that the next carrot will satisfy us, so we hurry off in a car that we don’t own, to get on the road to a job we don’t like, to waste time that we don’t have in a traffic jam that we can’t avoid.
How do we resolve this, you might ask? Well, my friends, I am happy to tell you that there is a better way. Most of us are looking everywhere in our earthly world, instead of looking to God. In order to find real peace, it stands to reason that we must go to the author of peace, namely the God of the Bible.
So if you find yourself facing a seemingly impossible situation today, why not go to a God who specializes in the impossible? He tells us that this life is like a vapor or a puff of smoke that vanishes away all too quickly.
Most of us worship at the altar of emotions which can change overnight, but whatever you may be going through, learn to worship the one who gave you life in the first place. Give thanks for what you have, instead of being preoccupied with what you don’t possess. Doing this will give you a new sense of stability and confidence, and you will not be tossed around by the waves of life’s turbulence. Instead of going through life at break-neck speed, you will learn to savor your time with God like you would enjoy a good meal, or a great vacation.
I said above that I like to go out to dinner, but I tend to eat to quickly. A lot of us are this way when it comes to life, and realizing that God is in control will allow you to slow down.
In still another place, the Bible states that those of us who know Christ are seated with Him in heavenly places. We need to take a look at what this means for us.
When we are obsessed with our own problems, they become larger than life. But from God’s perspective, our problems are quite small, more than manageable. In order to counteract the attitudes of stress we have adopted, we must learn to develop a real dependence upon God throughout our day. While worship allows us a new glimpse into His grandeur, acknowledging Him in all the situations we go through lets us choose to look down on all the things that used to overwhelm us. It is like taking off in a plane. The further you get from the ground, the smaller things appear.
Living in this way has changed my life, and I have found that things which used to steal my peace and upset me at first, seem a lot less important now.
All of us need to strive for a more peaceful lifestyle in which we turn things over to God on a moment-by-moment basis. I won’t pretend that this is easy, but it is just like anything else in life. The more you practice it, the easier it will become.
Ask God to help you do this, and develop a closer walk with Him through prayer and the Word. He will always be faithful, and as your primary focus is placed on Jesus more and more, you will face the daily challenges of life with a new sense of strength. God will meet you as He once met me, if you will take the first step towards Him.
It doesn’t matter what you might have done in the past. God loves you just as you are, so invite Him into your heart. Whether it is the first time you have done this, or you are rededicating your life to Him, confess your sin by agreeing that His ways are the right ways. Then all you have to do is accept the love which He holds out to you, a love that was once shown on the cross. He longs to guide you in paths of peace, walking with you through this life on Earth.
Thank you for reading this, and may the Lord give you a wonderful week! We are trying to reach people who are hurting, so if God lays it on your heart, please consider becoming a partner with us. If you would like to make a donation, please visit www.hcmachaplains.org and click on the Donate Now link. You can also send donations by mail to HCMA (Healthcare Chaplains Ministry Association). Our ID number is 560. The address is 101 S Kraemer BLVD, Suite 123A, Placentia, CA 92870.
Finally, you’re always welcome to join our Tuesday night Bible study. These studies are conducted by conference call, and they take place at 6:30 PM Arizona time. Our conference number is 313-209-8800. Our PIN is 8699032. We hope to talk with you soon!
If you have questions, comments or prayer requests for Timothy or Stephanie Burdick, please call 507-369-6861.