"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Frazzled Perfection


1. to wear to threads or shreds; fray.
2. to weary; tire out

Life frazzles me.

 I know what it's like to wake up weary. 

To try to be the mom who is in the moment, the employee who delivers every time, the wife who builds up her husband, the friend who never judges and the servant who tirelessly meets the needs of those God brings before me.

I know what it's like to have my temper hanging by a thread.

I know how it feels to have your heart worn to shreds.

This isn't what God intended.

We look at the model we have been given and give up before we even begin.

A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar. She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls. She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard. She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks. She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night. In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers. She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple. Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes. She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her. "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.  ~ Proverbs 31:10-31(NIV)
How in the world did she have time to be all that kinds of perfect?! 

We forget. 

She wasn't.

Sure, she did all those things, but did she do them all at once? No. Did she do them all alone. No. Did she do them all without guilt? Probably not. 

We read this passage of scripture and become so overwhelmed with the picture that is painted, we either quit before we ever begin, or we drive ourselves (and everyone else) crazy trying to fulfill each characteristic like a daily checklist of noble character to-dos.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

There are so many ways that Satan gets to us, and we try to guard against a lot of them. But I think we forget that he can turn God's word in our head as well.

Remember Eve?
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'? ~ Genesis 3:1 (NIV)
All it takes is a tiny, tiny seed planted.

"Did God really say..?"

"Is that really what God wants?"

 "Did God mean this or that?" 

"Does God really want me to do it all?"

We think we know what we should be doing, but there always seems to be this little voice that makes us question what we are truly hearing.

To get past the pressure and the struggles of The Woman of Noble Character and Eve, we need to look at one more section of Scripture.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!"
 "Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." ~Luke 10:38-42 (NIV)

My sweet sisters and friends, Sitting at the Lord's feet and listening to what He says is the answer.

Sure, sure; it sounds simple, and we may even be in our Word on a daily basis. We may do our daily email devotion and do our Scripture memory verse. But do we take the time to put everything else aside and sit at the feet of Jesus until He is done teaching us? Not just the 20 minutes we penciled in for the morning, but until we have soaked in every drop of wisdom that God wanted us to receive that day? 

Your time with God should be whenever is right for you. Some people need to get up early and dig into Scripture before the day begins. Some people need the quiet of night to really be able to listen. When you do your study doesn't matter. How you do your study does. 

If you are going into it to check another item off your to-do list, that is exactly what you will get; another item checked on your to-do list.

If you are going into your study time desperately seeking God's presence and direction as you spend time together in His Word, He will show up and deliver every time. 

And as you sit at the feet of Jesus, and listen and learn from The Master, your day will start to organize its self. You will start to see the things that just need done, and the things that need done with a Kingdom Purpose.  

Once you start to see that, you just have to make the choice to set aside the things that need to be set aside. (Even if it feels like you should get everything done, remember to honestly assess it: will I just be doing something that needs done, or will I be fulfilling a Kingdom purpose?)

Finally Sister-friend, Be encouraged! It is possible to become un-frazzled!

We have to constantly make the choice to block the whispers of the Deceiver. He will never give up on getting us overwhelmed, frazzled, and confused ~ 

But, neither will God ever tire of refreshing, energizing, teaching, and guiding. And he won't stop until we are perfect.

Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  ~ Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

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