If you’ve been around The Calm of His Presence for very long you know I don’t get caught up in politics, hot button and trending topics in the world. If I did the main focus of this corner of the internet would be lost. Our focus here is taking a break from the crazy, busy life we all live and finding moments of calm in the Presence of Christ. But, there are times when God uses something that happens in our country to set me straight and refocus me on the pasture He has me tending.
I know we’ve talked about this many times before but to confirm it yet again…
God calls each of us to serve in a specific pasture. It’s our responsibility to faithfully tend the pasture He has called us to.
Earlier this week First Lady Barbara Bush passed away which brought on social media posts, newscasts, and articles that discussed her impact as our First Lady. She was a lady of class, humor, loyalty and strength. However, for me, one article stood out among all the rest written by Dana Perino for Fox News. One of the stories Dana told was about Mrs Bush’s response to a question on mentoring.
“In 2011, I invited Mrs. Bush to kick off a Minute Mentoring event in Houston. She said, ‘Why would you want me? I’ve never worked a day in my life.’
While true that she never earned a paycheck, she worked her tail off for her family, her staff, her country. She donated all of her book proceeds to charity.” Dana Perino: For Barbara Bush, loyalty — and love — went both ways
“Why would you want me? I’ve never worked a day in my life.” That statement stopped me in my tracks. In her mind, Mrs. Bush never worked a day in her life because she did what she loved. She focused on “her family, her staff and her country”. She was confident in the pasture God placed her in to serve and served there with her whole heart until she drew her last breath.
So here’s my question for you? Are you focused on tending the pasture God has placed you in to serve or are you caught up comparing yourself with those around you wanting what they have or doing what they do? Friends, let me speak a little tough love to you today. It’s not about what we think we want because someone else has it or wishing we had their job or ministry. It’s about doing the work God has called us to do in the pasture He has called us to serve.
In Jeremiah 1:4-8 God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet to the nations. Despite the fact that Jeremiah felt inadequate God chose Him for a purpose. Jeremiah 1:5 says,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
Just like the Lord had a plan for Jeremiah he also has a plan for you. He knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb. My friend be confident in knowing God has set you apart for a purpose. Whether you know God’s purpose for your life or not I challenge you to trust Him in His perfect plan and tend the pasture you are in right now.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5,6
Take a lesson from First Lady Barbara Bush on how to tend your pasture…
~Love your family well within your 4 walls
~Give grace to those outside your 4 walls with whom you come in contact on a daily basis at work, school or church
~Be willing to step outside of your comfort zone to share the love of Christ
Want to make sure you don’t miss anything from The Calm of His Presence? Sign up to receive the newsletter by clicking on the “Sign up” button in the top right and follow on Facebook, Instagram & Pinterest.
In His Calm,
Friends, I want to ask you something…
What do you see right now? Is your house buzzing with the afternoon activity of family and pets? Are you sitting at a coffee shop scrolling through social media and people watching while you drink your latte? Or are you sitting in your cubicle at work staring at a computer screen with flowcharts and figures? Currently, I’m sitting at my computer with a window to one side where I can see the green trees and flowers just outside my window. Greta, our Weimaraner, is walking around patrolling our house while my kids are busy making afternoon snacks.
Now, I have a harder more probing question to ask you…
What do you see with the eyes of your heart?
Yes, I know, that isn’t an easy question to answer but I want you to honestly take a look at what the eyes of your heart see right now. Are they focused on the pain caused by a loved one? Do they see the stress caused by deadline after deadline looming on your calendar? Are they filled with rage at the action of someone you once considered a friend? Does worry from a waiting diagnosis have you focusing on the what ifs?
I ask this question because for me, the eyes of my heart have been focused on some very painful, gut wrenching struggles going on around me with loved ones and friends. While these situations are beyond my control, they have taken over and controlled my thoughts to the point that I haven’t thought about much else. I have prayed for good test results, reconciliation, calm spirits and begged God to intervene in some very difficult situations.
If you were to ask me if my heart was focused on where it should be I would have told you of course it was – that was until yesterday morning when I received a text that brought it all into perspective. You see, I’ve spent many hours in prayer over each of these issues and thought my heart and mind were focused on the right thing but, when I received the text asking me a simple question and I couldn’t answer, I knew my heart and mind were not focused on the right thing.
What was the question??? It was simply, “What are your plans for Easter?”.
Um hello!! Easter??? I haven’t given it much more than a glancing thought. My heart was so focused on other concerns that I was at risk of completely overlooking the most important aspect of my faith …the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
My friends, my heart nearly broke in two. How could I become so overwhelmed with the struggles of life that I completely cast aside the love of God to send His Son to die on the Cross for my sins? I’m not going to lie it hit me like a ton of bricks.
My prayer is, that you haven’t realized that you’ve done the same thing. But if you have, I don’t want you to beat yourself up. Instead I want you to give yourself a break and admit yes, life is hard but there is so much to celebrate.
You may be in a Good Friday of your own where life is harder than you care to admit – fear of a potential diagnosis, discouragement from an unmet expectation, heartache over a broken relationship, or financial concerns that won’t go away – but there is so much more than the fear, heartache and pain. There is celebration in the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
Tomorrow is Good Friday. In the weight and heaviness of the reality of Christ’s torture and death it was impossible for Mary (Jesus’ Mother), John and his loved ones to see any reason for joy and celebration BUT GOD in His amazing, loving. miraculous ways RAISED JESUS FROM THE GRAVE. Three days later there was a celebration like no other on earth. God’s plan for our salvation was made known in the resurrection of Jesus. HALLELUJAH!! He came to earth, died and was raised 3 days later to save us from our sins!
Friends, I know life may be hard right now. The eyes of your heart may be focused only on the struggles you awake with each morning and go to bed worried about each night but can I ask you to take some time today to spend alone in prayer? Lay your concerns, worry and fear over to God and trust Him to carry those burdens. Ask Him to change the focus of the eyes of your heart and mind to see Christ on the Cross who loved you so much He died in order for you to spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
“Later, knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, ‘It is finished.’ With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:28-30
Dear Lord, we are in a Good Friday of our own mired in the hurt, pain & worry of the realities of life. We ask you to refocus the eyes of our heart and mind to see the Truth of Your Love for us. Help us trust your love and the miracle of Christ’s resurrection so that we can trust you to work in the situations we face. Thank you for loving us so much that you sent your son to die on the Cross for our sins. In your name we pray, Amen.
In His Calm,
Despite the heat of the noonday sun the Samaritan Woman left her water jar to go tell the people of the town all about this man who told her everything she ever did. I can just picture her running up to people, grabbing them by the shoulder or taking them by the hand – completely forgetting their opinion of her – and excitedly exclaiming, “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” John 4:29. With all self-consciousness thrown out the window she couldn’t wait for them to experience the joy she now felt. Her enthusiasm was so contagious they followed her to the well and urged Jesus to stay a little longer.
For two days the people listened to Jesus’ teachings and “many more became believers” (John 4:41) saying to the woman, “We no longer believe just because of what you said; now we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” John 4:42. The Samaritan Woman stepped out of her comfort zone and gave the people of the town an invitation to follow her and experience the life giving water of Jesus.
Like the Samaritan Woman, we have a divine appointment with Jesus who will meet with us and fill us with His living water. When we take the time to sit with Him – quietly in His Presence – we experience peace when life is hard, endurance when we are weak, confidence when we struggle with fear, healing where there is brokenness and nourishment when we are parched. Have you experienced this peace, endurance, confidence, healing or nourishment through Jesus?
Here’s my action step for you today; Go and Tell: find someone – whether they are within the Pasture of your 4 walls or outside of your comfort zone – and share what Jesus has done for you. It’s in these moments of sharing Jesus’ love and faithfulness that we invite others to experience His love through us.
To wrap up our series on the Woman at The Well I want to review our action steps.
- You have a divine appointment with Jesus. Set aside a time when you can meet with Jesus each day.
- Jesus longs to tend our soul. Come and listen to what God is saying to you through the study of His Word.
- Go and tell others how you experienced Jesus tending your soul.
Dear Lord, Thank you that when I make it a priority to spend time with you – digging into your Word – you give me ears to hear and a mind that believes your truths. Thank you for loving me and touching the deepest part of me despite my weakness, fears and brokenness. Give me a heart and desire like the Samaritan Woman to excitedly tell others how you met with me and desire to meet with them. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.
In His Calm,
Thank you for joining me again as we sit at the Well with Jesus. Did you take time this week to determine when you will have your divine appointment with Jesus each day? Gather your hot tea or coffee and blanket, or find a quiet place during a break at work and let’s continue our story of Jesus and the Samaritan Woman from John 4.
Sweating and weary from the dusty walk in the sweltering heat of the noonday sun the woman quietly began drawing water. Her hopes that the man who was also at the well would ignore her were dashed as he asked her for a drink of water. “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” John 4:9, she questioned. Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10.
Her curiosity peaked she let down her guard and began talking with Jesus – seeking to understand what he saying.
“Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'” John 4:13.
While the woman knew she shouldn’t be talking to him her heart cried out for more understand of what this man was saying. Patiently Jesus listened to her questions and lovingly addressed her deepest needs.
The Samaritan woman came to the well thirsty, in need of physical nourishment but Jesus was there to fill a deeper need. He was there to fill her spiritual thirst and hunger. As women we have many different responsibilities that leave us dry physically and spiritually. Jesus longs to meet those needs. In Isaiah 55: 1&2 we read of God’s invitation to those who are thirsty.
“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters… Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” Isaiah 55:1,2
Jesus is ready to give us His life sustaining nourishment. It’s up to us to take the invitation to stop, sit at his feet and open our hearts and minds to His Word.
John 1: 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” And then in John 1:14 we read, The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
When we accept the invitation to sit with Jesus we read His Word and listen with our minds and soul. This is where we become active participants in our divine appointment with God. But how do we do that?
- Pray for God to reveal Himself through the reading of scripture
- Take a passage of scripture – 1 verse or a whole chapter (I find 1-3 verses work best for me) – and read over them
- Break the scripture down and look it up through a source like blueletterbible.com to find the original meaning
- Journal what the passage means personally
- Memorize the passage to keep it hidden within your heart so that you can recall it when needed
Friends, my hope and prayer is that you will find time to sit at the well with Jesus so that your spiritual thirst is quenched. Read His Word and take it deep within your heart. As we close today I want to leave you with this prayer. But before I do, I want to invite you to join us again next week to find out how this story ends.
Dear Lord, Thank you for revealing yourself to me through your Word. As I dig deeper into your Word Give me a heart that seeks after you, ears to hear your Word and a mind to believe your truths. Thank you for tending my soul through the living water of your Word. In Your Name I Pray, Amen.
In His Calm,